Overdue Standards Better Protect People from Human Pesticide Tests

Today, at long last, the EPA issued a new rule that strengthens scientific and ethical protections for tests of pesticides on humans. This rule was the result of a 2006 lawsuit filed against the EPA by a coalition of public health, environmental and farmworker advocates. The groups sued the EPA for issuing a regulation in 2005 that, among other things, did not completely prohibit testing on pregnant women and children, did not guarantee fully informed consent, and permitted unscientific research methods.

The pesticide industry had used unethical experiments involving human subjects to argue for weaker pesticide safety standards. Farmworker Justice, which was one of the counsel in the lawsuit, hopes that the new regulations will result in greater protections for those who are most exposed to pesticides, particularly farmworkers and their families.

Farmworker Justice and NRDC’s press release is available here. The EPA posted more information on the final rule on its website.