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Scientists Under Fire for Sewage Sludge Study

Scientists, conducting federally funded research, spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on the lawns of poor, black Baltimore families.

The researchers say the fertilizer was harmless. But the story still raises questions about informed consent — whether people really understood what they were getting into — and how to work within the context of communities that may be suspicious of the motives of scientists.

Today, we got two sides of the story from Associated Press reporter John Heilprin, who recently co-authored a major article on the sludge study. We spoke with Dr. Michael Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, which was one of the organizations affiliated with the sludge study.

Was it good science or bad policy?
Take a listen and let us know what you think.