Media Release

Health and Environment Groups Urge Feds to Refuse Human Testing of Pesticides

Dec 10 2001

National environmental and child health groups today called upon Health Minister Alan Rock to confirm the Canadian government's position that it will not accept the results of industry test data derived from dosing humans with pesticides. The call was prompted by a recent policy reversal within the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA previously did not accept the results of such testing and has now decided to do so. In recent years, the practice of dosing humans with pesticides has been greeted with grave concern by the medical, scientific, public interest, religious, environmental, consumer and health communities in recent years. Opposition arises on moral, ethical and scientific grounds. "The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has stated that it will closely follow the practices of the USEPA in its regulation of pesticides, Hence, the policy reversal in the United States needs to be directly addressed, and opposed, in Canada," stated Kathleen Cooper with the Canadian Environmental Law Association. "Pesticides are not therapeutic agents and subjects get no therapeutic benefit from consuming pesticides. Such short term human studies do little to tell us about the risks of long term exposure or the developmental risks to children," stated Dr Kapil Khatter with the Canadian Association of Physicans for the Environment. "With these studies, low income people could be exploited for their financial need and convinced to risk their health for money," Dr. Khatter said. "These tests are not only unethical but also provide a false sense of security. The effects of pesticides in children are different from effects in adults. Results from dosing adults are useless for determining the effects of greatest concern - developmental effects in children," noted Barbara McElgunn with the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada.- 30 -For more information:Kathleen Cooper, Researcher, Canadian Environmental Law Association 416-960-2284, ext. 221Dr. Kapil Khatter, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, 416-463-3080Barbara McElgunn, Health Policy Officer, Learning Disabilities Association of CanadaDon Houston, Director, Environmental Program, Canadian Institute of Child Health, 613-230-8838, ext 231