BOXER SHOCKED BY EPA NOMINEE’S FAILURE TO CONDEMN
PROGRAM TO TEST PESTICIDES ON CHILDREN
Washington, D.C.– During a hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was shocked and disappointed by EPA Administrator Nominee Stephen Johnson’s failure to condemn a pending EPA program to test pesticides on children.
The program, the Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study, or CHEERS, would pay the parent of a baby up to $970 if they expose their child to household pesticides and other toxins over a two-year period. The parents are also given a camcorder, which they can keep, to tape the child’s activities and reactions.
Boxer said, “The idea that the Administration would pay parents to expose their children to toxins is absolutely reprehensible. Further the fact that EPA told parents there was no risk to participating in the study is unconscionable.”
The EPA, National Academy of Sciences, and American Public Health Association have all stated that children are especially vulnerable to pesticides. Pesticides can cause cancer and adversely affect a child’s neurological, reproductive, respiratory, immune, and endocrine systems, even at low levels.
The program, which is sponsored primarily by the EPA, is also sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, which reportedly agreed to give the EPA $2 million to conduct the study.
Johnson said that the program had not been cancelled, and he made no commitment to do so.
Boxer said, “The moral and ethical issues surrounding this program are overwhelming, and Mr. Johnson’s failure to outright condemn the CHEERS program and cancel it is unacceptable.”
It appears the program has been temporarily suspended, but hopefully you'll be able to sign your kids up soon! But, let me warn you, this is what happens when you're exposed to pesticides: