Probably the most explicitly evil thing I’ve seen our government do

1629-EPAI never thought that I’d live to see the day where the American government would allow pesticide testing on little children against their will.

I wish I was making this up. But the story goes like this: in August 2005, Congress mandated that the EPA institute rules protecting pregnant women and children from pesticide testing. The EPA, which is by all accounts a “captured” agency as of late (meaning that the industries it supposedly regulates have managed to get their people installed at its highest levels), has interpreted “pregnant women and children” to exclude neglected, abused, or mentally handicapped children. Just look at the letter of the law here:

70 FR 53865 26.408(a) “The IRB (Independent Review Board) shall determine that adequate provisions are made for soliciting the assent of the children, when in the judgment of the IRB the children are capable of providing assent…If the IRB determines that the capability of some or all of the children is so limited that they cannot reasonably be consulted, the assent of the children is not a necessary condition for proceeding with the research. Even where the IRB determines that the subjects are capable of assenting, the IRB may still waive the assent requirement…”

So if children aren’t capable of assenting to being subjected to pesticide testing, they can still be tested. Even if they are capable of assenting and refuse to, they can still be tested.

70 FR 53865 26.408(c) “If the IRB determines that a research protocol is designed for conditions or for a subject population for which parental or guardian permission is not a reasonable requirement to protect the subjects (for example, neglected or abused children), it may waive the consent requirements…”

So if a child comes from an abusive situation or has nobody caring for it, it can be tested on against its will.

70 FR 53864 26.401 (a)(2) “To What Do These Regulations Apply? It also includes research conducted or supported by EPA outside the United States, but in appropriate circumstances, the Administrator may, under § 26.101(e), waive the applicability of some or all of the requirements of these regulations for research…”

This means “yeah, boys, do whatever the hell you want to those brownie kids in Whereverstan.”

The EPA wrote a reply to critics of the policy, it may be added, but it was just a rehashing of what they were told to do but didn’t. They might as well have said “hey, we’re not testing pregnant women or children except for the ones we are!” When their own regulations say otherwise, I think it can be surmised that they think we’re idiots.

I hate to break Godwin’s Law, but there’s not much else that can compare to this.

posted by Stuart Richards
  • http://www.bradspangler.com/blog/ Brad Spangler

    Forgive me my copyright sins, Stuart, for I must diary this on Daily Kos.

  • mikehorn

    The CDC did testing with Dibrom (For mosquitos) in my county in 2004 without notifying the local government and residents. Well, some residents knew about it because they were asked by CDC representatives to provide urine samples for a study. From the article:

    Hastings resident Melissa Stromingher said she was alarmed when a CDC representative came to her home and asked for urine samples. “It’s a little shocking when the CDC walks up your front porch,” she told The Record. “They were going door-to-door. They were especially looking for a pregnant woman for the test.”

    Some residents were given CDC documentation asking to give urine samples so that they can find out if the amount of pesticides they have in their body increases after the spraying.

    Still, not as evil as the actions in your post…

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  • http://donsobservs.blogspot.com/ Don Bangert

    The actions of the EPA and the CDC (citing Comment 2) are indicative of a trend I’ve noticed in our new (post 9/11) government. Their new method of operation is to do whatever they want, regardless of constraints that have been placed upon them.

    Their recent actions seem to indicate that they’re anticipating the general population to respond to them in one of two ways:
    1) The recipients of their actions will stand up to them forcing them to cease and desist, by court order if necessary.
    2) The recipients of their actions will comply with their demands, effectively enlarging their sphere of authority through our complicity.
    They’re gambling on the latter of the two to be our standard response, mainly because most Americans are clueless about what government has authority over, not to mention what their rights are. Besides, most American’s don’t have the wherewithal to stand up to the all-powerful government, so they go along to get along.