Friday, February 20, 2004

National Academies Approve Pesticide Testing in Human Subjects

On 11/15/03, we posted on the questionable ethical propriety of testing pesticide safety on paid human subjects. The National Academy of Sciences has been evaluating the issue at the EPA's behest, and has now concluded that such testing may be permissible under certain circumstances, the Washington Post reports.

From the NAS press release: "[S]cientific investigators should take steps to avoid exploitation of any particular social group. . . . All parties involved in designing and evaluating a research protocol should consider whether the proposed level of remuneration given to participants would constitute exploitation or offer an undue incentive to take part."
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.