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EPA ordered to review rat poison safety

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WASHINGTON, Aug 09, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Amid rising accidental child poisonings, a Washington judge has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to review its policy on rat poison.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff wrote that the agency failed to justify its 2001 agreement with pest control companies, which dropped two provisions from a 1998 rule requiring them to include a bittering agent and an indicator dye.

In 2001, Bush administration officials rescinded the requirements, on the grounds that they would make the poison less attractive to rats and could damage household property.

The challenge was filed by West Harlem Environmental Action and the Natural Resources Defense Council, which cited rising incidents of child poisoning, The Washington Post said.

However, Bob Rosenberg, senior vice president of the National Pest Management Association, said bittering and coloring were counter-productive.

"Rats and mice don't like to eat pellets with bittering agents any more than people do," he said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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