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From June 13, 2002

Bayer Pushes for Human Testing

The chemical company giant Bayer is working to allow use of pesticide testing on humans to determine toxicity. EPA currently has ban on use of such information. On June 9, The Independent reported claims that Bayer is playing a major role in EPA's decision on whether or not to reverse this ban.

Bayer holds a major stake in the decision, as they have results of a human test for dangers of azinphos methyl that took place in 1998. Bayer is a major producer of this chemical. A spokesman for the Natural Resource Defense Council stated, "There is strong evidence that Bayer did not obtain fully informed consent because the subjects lacked knowledge and comprehension of the goals and risks." Fear is spreading that if the U.S. begins accepting such data, Europe will follow suit.

Bayer's interest is furthered since their takeover of Aventis Croplife. Human testing could be used for both pesticides and genetically modified products.

It is reported that EPA Administrator Whitman will consult with the National Academy of Sciences to reach a conclusion. A decision is expected within the next few months.