I 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 Ã‚Â§ 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.