The EPA has agreed to stronger safeguards for would-be human guinea pigs. On October 13 EPA published a draft revised rule for testing pesticides on people. Under a settlement with plaintiffs who had sued the agency, EPA agreed to propose amendments "consistent with language negotiated by the groups who challenged it."
The revision resulted from a 2006 lawsuit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of NRDC, Pesticide Action Network and farmworker groups claiming EPA had violated a 2005 act of Congress requiring strict ethical and scientific protections for pesticide testing on humans. As PAN reported earlier this year, the agency's human studies policy ignored scientific criteria proposed by the National Academy of Sciences, did not prohibit testing on pregnant women and children, and even violated the most basic elements of the Nuremberg Code, including fully informed consent of subjects.
Joining PAN and NRDC in the lawsuit were the United Farmworkers of America, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United), Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, Migrant Clinicians Network, San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility and Farmworker Justice.