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Pesticides: How much to be a medical guinea pig?
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How much would you demand to be paid before knowingly swallowing a pesticide as part of a scientific experiment?The current rate that's being mooted is $1,000, which represents a serious pay hike on the $15 per hour that was paid to 127 young people back in 2004 who were placed in a special chamber and exposed to vapours of chloropicrin, which is used in tear gas

How much would you demand to be paid before knowingly swallowing a pesticide as part of a scientific experiment?
The current rate that's being mooted is $1,000, which represents a serious pay hike on the $15 per hour that was paid to 127 young people back in 2004 who were placed in a special chamber and exposed to vapours of chloropicrin, which is used in tear gas.

The researchers clearly felt they were over-paying the kids, and so second time around they also directed the vapours into the nostrils and eyes, just to make sure they were getting value for money.

It's a controversial subject, and it's one that is taxing the minds of the good folk who sit on ethics committees around the world. While it's clearly morally wrong to expose anyone to these dangerous chemicals, we also need to understand what they are doing to us, hence the ethical dilemma.

It's a pointless debate, nonetheless, as every day we are all exposed to around 80,000 industrial substances, including many that we eat or inhale, without getting a cent of research funding. The reward, if such it can be called, may be the epidemic of chronic diseases that afflict the developed world.

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 297; 2405-7).

E-news broadcast 14 June 2007 No.368 [Subscribe]


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