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EPA Seeks Pesticide Testing Advice

Date: December 13, 2001

Source: News Room

The federal EPA has asked science advisers to help determine whether it should use industry data gathered from human tests to help set limits on pesticide levels in food and water. EPA officials recently said they have been considering human testing in three or four cases. The EPA wants the National Academy of Sciences "to help address the scientific and ethical questions related to whether to accept, consider or rely on research involving deliberate exposure of human subjects to toxicants," said EPA Assistant Administrator Stephen Johnson in a letter to the academy. Physicians and environmentalists have criticized the practice, saying it would encourage pesticide makers to conduct more human tests in order to win approval of their products. The government normally uses the results of animal testing and multiplies exposure levels by 10 to establish levels considered safe for humans. Manufacturers have said human tests give more accurate results.

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