The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reconsidering a five-year-old
self-imposed moratorium on using human toxicity studies as part of the agency's
process of regulating pesticide safety levels and has asked the National Academy
of Sciences (NAS) to review the issue and make recommendations as to how the
EPA should proceed.
Pesticide manufacturers say that testing for toxicity using human subjects
can be done safely and that it provides a more accurate assessment of tolerance
levels and chemical effects on people. But public health advocacy groups oppose
such tests, saying they offer no promise of benefit to the research subject,
other than for a monetary payment, sometimes reaching $1000. They also argue
the tests produce little scientific evidence and safety value because such
studies use small sample sizes of healthy adults and omit children and other
populations that are more sensitive to chemical effects .
Mitka M. EPA Ponders Pesticide Toxicity Testing. JAMA. 2003;289(5):535-536. doi:10.1001/jama.289.5.535