Kennedy attacks pesticides; Congress kills SEPA

In a statement released Nov. 27, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy attacked pesticides in particularly vitriolic fashion. Comparing pesticide use to chemical and biological terrorism, Kennedy stated that, "In recent weeks, the nation has been gripped by the fear of biological and chemical attack. But every day in schools across the nation, children are exposed to dangerous pesticides that can make them sick." Kennedy went on to vow that, "We cannot allow schools to be chemical death traps for our children."

The statements were in reference to SEPA—the School Environmental Protection Act. To the objection of some environmentalists, the Act recognized the value of a sound school IPM program that included pesticide use in and around schools. This legislation, trumpeted as compromise measure that both sides could accept, passed both the house and senate, but was removed in conference last week. It's likely that a more restrictive measure will take its place.

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