Bug Off, EPA
Date Added: Nov. 15, 2004
Science and government have always made peculiar bedfellows, easily raising concerns that the public's well-being would take a back seat to the futherance of science. This study was real, but has been cancelled due in no small part to chain letters like this one.
Please read this and take action. It is urgent!
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to launch an outrageous new study in which participating low income families will have their children exposed to toxic pesticides over the course of two years. For taking part in these studies, each family will receive $970, a free video camera, a T-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation. The study entitled CHEERS (Childrenšs Environmental Exposure Research Study) will look at how chemicals can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by children ranging from babies to 3 years old.
Please take a moment to join tens of thousands of citizens in petitioning the EPA to terminate this study prior to its proposed launch in early 2005.
More information and petition here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa-alert.htm
Please also forward this message...
I first saw this chain letter in November of 2004. At that time, the study was real, and the EPA insisted that children in participating households would not be "exposed to toxic pesticides," as the e-mail above and related petition web site attest. Originally slated to start October 1, 2004, researchers chose Duvall County, Florida, because the region already has a high incidence of indoor pesticide use.
The initial study plans included looking at the effects of existing pesticides on children. Researchers would not be introducing new chemicals or increasing the amounts of chemicals in the environment. A similar study was conducted in 2001 and the proposed 2004-2005 study had been approved by four Institutional review Boards.
In late September, 2004, media outlets began reporting that, while the study didn't require increased pesticide use, participating families might be tempted to do so to ensure that they qualify for the study's funding. The Organic Consumers Association, the group behind the petition above, was just one organization leading an opposition to the study. In response to public concern, the FDA agreed to seek another external review of the study on November 11, 2004.
In April, 2005, Stephen L. Johnson, Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced that the study had been canceled as a result of continued "misrepresentations" of that work:
On April 8, 2005, I cancelled the Children's Health Environmental Exposure Research Study.
The Children's Health Environmental Exposure Research Study was designed to fill critical data gaps in our understanding of how children may be exposed to pesticides (such as bug spray) and chemicals currently used in households. Information from the study was intended to help EPA better protect children. EPA will continue to pursue the goal of protecting children's health.
Last fall, in light of questions about the study design, I directed that all work on the study stop immediately and requested an independent review. Since that time, many misrepresentations about the study have been made. EPA senior scientists have briefed me on the impact these misrepresentations have had on the ability to proceed with the study.
I have concluded that the study cannot go forward, regardless of the outcome of the independent review. EPA must conduct quality, credible research in an atmosphere absent of gross misrepresentation and controversy.
As a scientist and a 24-year employee of the EPA, I have a deep passion for the Agency's mission to protect human health and the environment. Continual review and reassessment is a fundamental aspect of scientific progress, and I am committed to ensuring that EPA's research is based on sound science with the highest ethical standards.
BreakTheChain.org recommends against signing any online petition or otherwise giving your personal information to a third party to act on your behalf. Break this chain.
References: EPA - CHEERS information and April 2005 statement, Washington Post - November 11, 2004, EPA Statement - November 11, 2004