Spreading The Poisons

Time for another "Gooberhead Award" -- presented periodically to people in the news who've got their tongues going 100-miles-per-hour ... but forgot to put their brains in gear.

Today's Goober is a double award, with the first one going to top officials in George W. Bush's EPA. Bush's new gang in our Environmental Protection Agency seem determined to switch the word "Protection" to "Poisoning," being more concerned with the health of polluter profits than with the health of people. Their latest twist is to reject the findings of a scientific panel (and common sense) that pesticide makers ought not use human beings as guinea pigs for testing the danger levels of a company's toxic chemicals.

Yes, instead of just testing their toxins on rats, the companies want to test them on us. And, believe it or not, at the behest of lobbyists for chemical corporations, EPA officials are actually considering the use of human subjects to test how much of a given pesticide we can absorb without croaking. Like drug companies that hire people (usually low-income and students) to test a new nasal spray or cough syrup, people would be paid a few bucks by Monsanto, DuPont, etc. to swallow dosages of their new bug killers.

In addition to these EPA Gooberheads, however, a second Goober has to be awarded to Ray McAllister, who works for the chemical makers' lobby shop in Washington. He's been pushing the EPA to authorize human experiments with these known poisons, claiming that it's very important for a pesticide company's bottom line to see how much of these new toxins the body can tolerate. Besides, says Ray, the risk to the human guinea pigs "is minuscule."

This is Jim Hightower saying ... Right, Ray, so why don't you, and the big investors who profit from these poisons be the ones we use for testing? Better yet, let's shift to organic and sustainable products, so no one has to be poisoned.


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