In a bid to salvage the National Children's Study- an attempt to study the health and the environment of children in the United States, Pediatricians have beseeched their congressmen to get their act together, in order to allow the study to take place.
The project plan, which is the combined effort of hundreds of scientists since 2000, envisages monitoring almost 100,000 children from birth till 21 years. The study aims to tabulate everything, right from the child's genetic material to blood samples, including details of the child's exposure to pollution, chemicals and pesticides. The project was slated to take off in 2007.
But the budgetary plan of the US government seems to have thrown a spanner in the works. The budgetary plan did not include $2.7 billion, the cost of the study project. This move had raised the ire of both the House and Senate Appropriations committee, but apart from voicing their disapproval, fresh plans for allocation of funds for the study has not been done.
"We're preparing to respond to both directives--to shut down the study if Congress accepts the president's budget or to continue it if more money can be found," said Dr. Peter Scheidt, the project's director.
Plans are afoot to convince the Democrat-controlled Congress about the imperativeness of the study, and the need for renewed funding for the project.