News of the WeekToxicology

Academy Panel Mulls Ethics of Human Pesticide Experiments

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Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 327-329
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5605.327a

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In late 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency asked the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for advice about the ethics of so-called dosing experiments, in which human volunteers are deliberately exposed to pesticides to see how much is needed to trigger a metabolic response or even make subjects sick. Last week, the new NAS panel heard from both advocates and opponents of dosing experiments. Their vehement debate underlines the difficulty the panel faces in trying to untangle the scientific and ethical questions.