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[SANET-MG] buying children in USA
The EPA proposal to buy US children to be used in experiments for $970, some children's clothing and a camcorder that parents can keep is one of the most bizarre incidents in the history of medical experimentation. Before children are sacrificed in such feckless endeavors EPA administrators should be charged for child abuse. The bureaucrats operate like the Taliban in promising paradise, but it is paradise of Walmart goodies and cash!
Staffers Fear EPA Project Endangers Participants By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 30, 2004; Page A02
An Environmental Protection Agency proposal to study young children's
exposure to pesticides has sparked a flurry of internal agency protests,
with several career officials questioning whether the survey will harm
vulnerable infants and toddlers.
The EPA announced this month that it was launching a two-year
investigation, partially funded by the American Chemical Council, of how
60 children in Duval County, Fla., absorb pesticides and other household
chemicals. The chemical industry funding initially prompted some
environmentalists to question whether the study would be biased, and
some rank-and-file agency scientists are now questioning whether the
plan will exploit financially strapped families.
In exchange for participating for two years in the Children's
Environmental Exposure Research Study, which involves infants and
children up to age 3, the EPA will give each family using pesticides in
their home $970, some children's clothing and a camcorder that parents
EPA officials in states such as Georgia and Colorado fired off e-mail
messages to each other this week suggesting the study lacked safeguards
to ensure that low-income families would not be swayed into exposing
their children to hazardous chemicals in exchange for money and
high-tech gadgetry. Pesticide exposure has been linked to neurological
problems, lung damage and birth defects.
Suzanne Wuerthele, the EPA's regional toxicologist in Denver, wrote her
colleagues on Wednesday that after reviewing the project's design, she
feared poor families would not understand the dangers associated with
"It is important that EPA behaves ethically, consistently, and in a way
that engenders public health. Unless these issues are resolved, it is
likely that all three goals will be compromised, and the agency's
reputation will suffer," she wrote in an e-mail obtained by The
Washington Post. "EPA researchers will not tell participants that using
pesticides always entails some risk, and not using pesticides will
reduce that risk to zero."
Troy Pierce, a life scientist in the EPA's Atlanta-based pesticides
section, wrote in a separate e-mail: "This does sound like it goes
against everything we recommend at EPA concerning use of [pesticides]
related to children. Paying families in Florida to have their homes
routinely treated with pesticides is very sad when we at EPA know that
[pesticide management] should always be used to protect children."
Linda S. Sheldon, acting administrator for the human exposure and
atmospheric sciences division of the EPA's Office of Research and
Development, said the agency would educate families participating in the
study and inform them if their children's urine showed risky levels of
pesticides. She said it was crucial for the agency to study small
children because so little is known about how their bodies absorb
"We are developing the scientific building blocks that will allow us to
protect children," Sheldon said, adding that the study design was
reviewed by five independent panels of academics, officials of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and representatives of the
Duval County Health Department.
Families can remain in the study even if they stop using pesticides,
Sheldon said, as long as they were using them before the experiment
started. It was unlikely that any family would volunteer for the study
out of financial need, she added, because researchers will require
parents to invest time in monitoring their children's activities and
"Nobody can go into this study just for that amount of money," Sheldon
R. Alta Charo, a professor of bioethics at the University of Wisconsin
at Madison's law and medical schools who co-authored a National Academy
of Sciences report last year on the use of pesticides for research, said
EPA officials were struggling with how to balance the need to protect
the individual child's interests against the goal of pursuing a broader
scientific agenda. While she said the agency's approach was reasonable,
Charo said it did raise ethical questions.
"Where is the line between enticement and a godfather offer" that
impoverished families would find hard to refuse, Charo said. "That is
really troubling. We make these decisions over and over in public
policy. This is one of those moments."
Several EPA officials, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear
of retaliation, also questioned why the agency removed the study design
and its recruitment flier from the EPA's Web site once some scientists
started to complain about the project. Sheldon said the agency is
rewriting how it portrays the research.
"We removed it so we could modify it, so it would make more sense," she
Washington Post: EPA Suspends Study on Kids And Pesticides
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