UPDATE (7/29) A conference committee watered down the Boxer moratorium on pesticide testing on humans (below), even though it was passed by the Senate. "The conference committee charged with reconciling the differences in the Interior Appropriations bill has weakened amendments that would have established a one-year moratorium on human pesticide testing. Instead, the new language prohibits EPA from accepting, considering, or relying upon human pesticide studies until EPA finalizes binding rules on human testing." Read more here.
A hermercurial tale: Two California heavyweights face off on corporate influence and environmental health. Round one:
A Jewish environmental coalition applauds the June 29th Senate vote (60-37) for Barbara Boxer's bill to ban the US Environmental Protection Agency from research that relies on exposure of people to pesticides. Boxer argues that the bill would protect children and pregnant women from pesticide exposure without adequate safeguards. (Cf. NRDC 6/5 lawsuit vs. EPA over farmworker children and pesticides.)
The Boxer bill was prompted by a dubious study to be funded partly by the chemical industry's American Chemical Council. WaPo reported: "In exchange for participating for two years in the ... study, which involves infants and children up to age 3, the EPA will give each family using pesticides in their home $970, some children's clothing and a camcorder that parents can keep." Internally, some EPA staff felt the study would exploit poor families. A life scientist in EPA's pesticides group told WaPo: "This does sound like it goes against everything we recommend at EPA concerning use of [pesticides] related to children. Paying families in Florida to have their homes routinely treated with pesticides is very sad when we at EPA know that [pesticide management] should always be used to protect children." Hat tip to the MN Progressive Newswire.
Round 2: California Governor Schwarzenegger appoints an oil industry lobbyist, Cindy Tuck, to run the California Air Resources Board. The Huffington Post adds: "Here's how you explain yesterday's outrageous appointment: Arnold has taken more than $1 million from energy companies (including $222k from Chevron) and about $1.3 million from the auto industry (see more at ArnoldWatch.org) "
Wondering how daf yomi led me to Arnold Schwarzenegger? Recently read the Jewish story of the man who miraculously nursed his baby (bShab 53b). This reminded me of Schwarzenegger in his role as Junior, the pregnant man (1994), so google and presto: Junior panders to the oil industry while Boxer stands up to the agrichemical industry.