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The English Patients

Wednesday, July 1, 1998

The English Patients

Human Experiments and Pesticide Policy

View and Download the report here: English Patient

For decades, U.S. and foreign pesticide manufacturers have been feeding their products to rats, rabbits, mice, and guinea pigs in thousands of controlled laboratory studies, all designed to satisfy government regulatory requirements for chemicals that kill weeds, insects, rodents and other pests.

Studies on lab animals are still routinely conducted for pesticides today. But in recent years, in a growing number of experiments that are raising ethical, legal and scientific questions inside and outside government, the test animals are people.

And for reasons neither U.S. nor British environmental officials can explain, most of the recent human pesticide experiments are being performed in England and Scotland.

In three related studies conducted just last year for Amvac Chemical Corporation, headquartered in City of Commerce, California, for example, researchers at  the Medeval Laboratories in Manchester, England dissolved a neurotoxic insecticide, dichlorvos, in corn oil and paid a small number of adult men to eat it in a test of the chemical’s acute effects. Dichlorvos is used to kill flies, caterpillars, and other bugs on fruit and vegetable crops, and has long been used in pet collars and pest strips under such trade names as “Fly-Die” and “No- Pest.” The volunteers in the experiment consumed an insecticide that, outside the United States, has been marketed as “Doom.”

View and Download the report here: English Patient