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A young man in an advanced math lecture fell asleep in class. The professor meanwhile wrote two problems on the blackboard as illustrations of equations that had no solution. He explained their history and discussed some of the great minds that had been up against them only to fail time and again. When the bell rang, the young man awoke, looked at the blackboard and, thinking the two equations were his homework, he copied them down and ran to his next class.
The following Monday, the young man came to class and told his professor that his homework was the toughest assignment he'd ever had. He wasn't sure about the second one, but he'd gotten the first. Sure enough, he had solved one of the "impossible" problems, because he didn't know it was impossible.
Ever been so strapped for cash that you'd swallow pesticide for $460? That's what dozens of college-age Nebraskans did in 1998 after reading a school-newspaper ad urging students to "earn extra money." They called 402-474-PAYS, signed a seven-page consent form and popped a pill loaded with the active ingredient in Raid roach spray. Dow AgroSciences commissioned the trial to vouch for the safety of one of its top-selling bug killers, chlorpyrifos.
Clearly, clinical trials are not just for doctors anymore. Chemical companies like Dow got into the business after Congress passed the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, which tightened safety standards on thousands of pesticides. The manufacturers responded by unleashing a flurry of small, short-term clinical trials aimed at persuading the Environmental Protection Agency to relax the rules that govern exposure to toxic chemicals.
At issue is the roundabout way that the EPA assesses human risk. Basically, it sets acceptable exposure levels for humans by determining the lowest level that is harmful to lab animals and then reducing that amount by a series of extrapolating factors. Chemical manufacturers have complained loudly that these standards are largely arbitrary. It was in order to establish more realistic levels that they began launching a slew of clinical trials.
Since 1997 pesticide makers have submitted more than a dozen human studies to the EPA. What has never been established, however, is whether it is acceptable—legally or ethically—to conduct clinical trials that offer no potential benefit to participants (other than monetary gain) and could end up harming individuals in the name of public health. In December the EPA declared a moratorium on the use of such data and asked the National Academy of Sciences to tell the agency whether it should accept research that deliberately exposes people to toxic substances. "Are there clear boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable human research?" asked EPA assistant administrator Stephen Johnson. The academy is mulling over the question.
Meanwhile, chemical companies could still be quietly conducting human trials. "There's no telling because there's no system for tracking studies that aren't federally funded," says Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, which opposes the pesticide tests. "There's no protocol on how they should be conducted. We're talking about the wild, wild West here."
The studies usually surface only when they are submitted to the EPA—or when they are leaked to the press. A year and a half ago, newspapers in California reported that researchers there were paying healthy volunteers $1,000 to complete a six-month regimen of perchlorate, a rocket- fuel component that disrupts thyroid function and may cause retardation in babies. Lockheed Martin funded the study after some 800 lawsuits charged that the company leaked perchlorate into the water supply and made people sick.
And what ever came of Dow's experiments on chlorpyrifos, the killer ingredient used in Raid and hundreds of other bug sprays and lawn-care products? The EPA ended up banning household use of the insecticide, a nerve-gas derivative found to cause brain damage in fetal rats and weakness and vomiting in children.
"The use of human subjects will be allowed for the testing of chemical and biological agents by the U.S. Department of Defense, accounting to Congressional committees with respect to the experiments and studies."
"The Secretary of Defense [may] conduct tests and experiments involving the use of chemical and biological [warfare] agents on civilian populations [within the United States]."
Public Law 95-79, Title VIII, Sec. 808, July 30, 1977, 91 Stat. 334.
In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 91, page 334, you will find Public Law 95-79.
Public Law 97-375, title II, Sec. 203(a)(1), Dec. 21, 1982, 96 Stat. 1882.
In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 96, page 1882, you will find Public Law 97-375.
1931 - Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations, infects human subjects with cancer cells. He later goes on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama, and is named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. While there, he begins a series of radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients.
1932 - The Tuskegee Syphilis Study begins. 200 black men diagnosed with syphilis are never told of their illness, are denied treatment, and instead are used as human guinea pigs in order to follow the progression and symptoms of the disease. They all subsequently die from syphilis, their families never told that they could have been treated.
1935 - The Pellagra Incident. After millions of individuals die from pellagra over a span of two decades, the U.S. Public Health Service finally acts to stem the disease. The director of the agency admits it had known for at least 20 years that Pellagra is caused by a niacin deficiency but failed to act since most of the deaths occurred within poverty-stricken black populations.
1940 - Four hundred prisoners in Chicago are infected with malaria in order to study the effects of new and experimental drugs to combat the disease. Nazi doctors later on trial at Nuremberg cite this American study to defend their own actions during the Holocaust.
1942 - Chemical Warfare Services begins mustard gas experiments on approximately 4,000 servicemen. The experiments continue until 1945 and made use of Seventh Day Adventists who chose to become human guinea pigs rather than serve on active duty.
1943 - In response to Japan's full-scale germ warfare program, the U.S. begins research on biological weapons at Fort Detrick, MD.
1944 - U.S. Navy uses human subjects to test gas masks and clothing. Individuals were locked in a gas chamber and exposed to mustard gas and lewisite.
1945 - Project Paperclip is initiated. The U.S. State Department, Army intelligence, and the CIA recruit Nazi scientists and offer them immunity and secret identities in exchange for work on top secret government projects in the United States.
1945 - "Program F" is implemented by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). This is the most extensive U.S. study of the health effects of fluoride, which was the key chemical component in atomic bomb production. One of the most toxic chemicals known to man, fluoride, it is found, causes marked adverse effects to the central nervous system but much of the information is squelched in the name of national security because of fear that lawsuits would undermine full-scale production of atomic bombs.
1946 - Patients in VA hospitals are used as guinea pigs for medical experiments. In order to allay suspicions, the order is given to change the word "experiments" to "investigations" or "observations" whenever reporting a medical study performed in one of the nation's veteran's hospitals.
1947 - Colonel E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission issues a secret document (Document 07075001, January 8, 1947) stating that the agency will begin administering intravenous doses of radioactive substances to human subjects.
1947 - The CIA begins its study of LSD as a potential weapon for use by American intelligence. Human subjects (both civilian and military) are used with and without their knowledge.
1950 - Department of Defense begins plans to detonate nuclear weapons in desert areas and monitor downwind residents for medical problems and mortality rates.
1950 - In an experiment to determine how susceptible an American city would be to biological attack, the U.S. Navy sprays a cloud of bacteria from ships over San Francisco. Monitoring devices are situated throughout the city in order to test the extent of infection. Many residents become ill with pneumonia-like symptoms.
1951 - Department of Defense begins open air tests using disease-producing bacteria and viruses. Tests last through 1969 and there is concern that people in the surrounding areas have been exposed.
1953 - U.S. military releases clouds of zinc cadmium sulfide gas over Winnipeg, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, the Monocacy River Valley in Maryland, and Leesburg, Virginia. Their intent is to determine how efficiently they could disperse chemical agents.
1953 - Joint Army-Navy-CIA experiments are conducted in which tens of thousands of people in New York and San Francisco are exposed to the airborne germs Serratia marcescens and Bacillus glogigii.
1953 - CIA initiates Project MKULTRA. This is an eleven year research program designed to produce and test drugs and biological agents that would be used for mind control and behavior modification. Six of the subprojects involved testing the agents on unwitting human beings.
1955 - The CIA, in an experiment to test its ability to infect human populations with biological agents, releases a bacteria withdrawn from the Army's biological warfare arsenal over Tampa Bay, Fl.
1956 - U.S. military releases mosquitoes infected with yellow fever over Savannah, Ga and Avon Park, Fl. Following each test, Army agents posing as public health officials test victims for effects.
1960 - The Army Assistant Chief-of-Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) authorizes field testing of LSD in Europe and the Far East. Testing of the European population is code named Project THIRD CHANCE; testing of the Asian population is code named Project DERBY HAT.
1965 - Project CIA and Department of Defense begin Project MKSEARCH, a program to develop a capability to manipulate human behavior through the use of mind-altering drugs.
1965 - Prisoners at the Holmesburg State Prison in Philadelphia are subjected to dioxin, the highly toxic chemical component of Agent Orange used in Viet Nam. The men are later studied for development of cancer, which indicates that Agent Orange had been a suspected carcinogen all along.
1966 - CIA initiates Project MKOFTEN, a program to test the toxicological effects of certain drugs on humans and animals.
1966 - U.S. Army dispenses Bacillus subtilis variant niger throughout the New York City subway system. More than a million civilians are exposed when army scientists drop lightbulbs filled with the bacteria onto ventilation grates.
1967 - CIA and Department of Defense implement Project MKNAOMI, successor to MKULTRA and designed to maintain, stockpile and test biological and chemical weapons.
1968 - CIA experiments with the possibility of poisoning drinking water by injecting chemicals into the water supply of the FDA in Washington, D.C.
1969 - Dr. Robert MacMahan of the Department of Defense requests from congress $10 million to develop, within 5 to 10 years, a synthetic biological agent to which no natural immunity exists.
1970 - Funding for the synthetic biological agent is obtained under H.R. 15090. The project, under the supervision of the CIA, is carried out by the Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, the army's top secret biological weapons facility. Speculation is raised that molecular biology techniques are used to produce AIDS-like retroviruses.
1970 - United States intensifies its development of "ethnic weapons" (Military Review, Nov., 1970), designed to selectively target and eliminate specific ethnic groups who are susceptible due to genetic differences and variations in DNA.
1975 - The virus section of Fort Detrick's Center for Biological Warfare Research is renamed the Fredrick Cancer Research Facilities and placed under the supervision of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) . It is here that a special virus cancer program is initiated by the U.S. Navy, purportedly to develop cancer-causing viruses. It is also here that retrovirologists isolate a virus to which no immunity exists. It is later named HTLV (Human T-cell Leukemia Virus).
1977 - Senate hearings on Health and Scientific Research confirm that 239 populated areas had been contaminated with biological agents between 1949 and 1969. Some of the areas included San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Key West, Panama City, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.
1978 - Experimental Hepatitis B vaccine trials, conducted by the CDC, begin in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Ads for research subjects specifically ask for promiscuous homosexual men.
1981 - First cases of AIDS are confirmed in homosexual men in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, triggering speculation that AIDS may have been introduced via the Hepatitis B vaccine.
1985 - According to the journal Science (227:173-177), HTLV and VISNA, a fatal sheep virus, are very similar, indicating a close taxonomic and evolutionary relationship.
1986 - According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (83:4007-4011), HIV and VISNA are highly similar and share all structural elements, except for a small segment which is nearly identical to HTLV. This leads to speculation that HTLV and VISNA may have been linked to produce a new retrovirus to which no natural immunity exists.
1986 - A report to Congress reveals that the U.S. Government's current generation of biological agents includes: modified viruses, naturally occurring toxins, and agents that are altered through genetic engineering to change immunological character and prevent treatment by all existing vaccines.
1987 - Department of Defense admits that, despite a treaty banning research and development of biological agents, it continues to operate research facilities at 127 facilities and universities around the nation.
1990 - More than 1500 six-month old black and Hispanic babies in Los Angeles are given an "experimental" measles vaccine that had never been licensed for use in the United States. CDC later admits that parents were never informed that the vaccine being injected to their children was experimental.
1994 - With a technique called "gene tracking," Dr. Garth Nicolson at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX discovers that many returning Desert Storm veterans are infected with an altered strain of Mycoplasma incognitus, a microbe commonly used in the production of biological weapons. Incorporated into its molecular structure is 40 percent of the HIV protein coat, indicating that it had been man-made.
1994 - Senator John D. Rockefeller issues a report revealing that for at least 50 years the Department of Defense has used hundreds of thousands of military personnel in human experiments and for intentional exposure to dangerous substances. Materials included mustard and nerve gas, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and drugs used during the Gulf War.
1995 - U.S. Government admits that it had offered Japanese war criminals and scientists who had performed human medical experiments salaries and immunity from prosecution in exchange for data on biological warfare research.
1995 - Dr. Garth Nicolson, uncovers evidence that the biological agents used during the Gulf War had been manufactured in Houston, TX and Boca Raton, Fl and tested on prisoners in the Texas Department of Corrections.
1996 - Department of Defense admits that Desert Storm soldiers were exposed to chemical agents.
1997 - Eighty-eight members of Congress sign a letter demanding an investigation into bioweapons use & Gulf War Syndrome.
This message is available online at http://www.WantToKnow.info/humanguineapigs
Fluoride can be one of the most volatile and active harmful chemicals in the body. Fluoride can attack mercilessly, against any age group, but its effects are especially harmful to developing children and the elderly. The detrimental effects of fluoride are varied. Below is a list of some of the recently documented, harmful effects of drinking fluoridated water:
1) Fluoride is known to cause dental fluorosis, a defect of the tooth enamel caused by fluoride’s interference with developing teeth. Its visible signs are mottled or yellowed teeth. Nearly 30% of children drinking fluoridated water suffer from dental fluorosis on two or more teeth (Hileman, 1988).
2) Fluoride is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Fluoride enters the brain and enables aluminum to cross the blood-brain barrier, resulting in increased risk for these diseases. Fluoride has also been associated with low IQ and mental retardation in children (Hileman, 1988).
3) Fluoride can cause a crippling bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. In more mild forms, symptoms of this disease include chronic joint pain, similar to the symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis has now reached near epidemic levels in the United States, and the connection to fluoridated water should be considered.
4) Fluoride depresses the activity of the human thyroid gland and has been commonly used as an effective treatment for patients with overactive thyroids. Fluoride may depress the activity of the healthy thyroid, as well, resulting in an underactive thyroid, a common cause of obesity. More than 20 million people in the United States receive treatment for thyroid problems.
5) Fluoride disrupts the activity of normally functioning hormones. Fluoride can reduce levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone, in the body, causing chronic insomnia (Hileman, 1988).
Most European countries have now rejected the process of water fluoridation. Their children’s teeth have not suffered from this rejection. The cost/benefit ratio of fluoridated water no longer warrants the presence of fluoride in drinking water.
The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
The U.S. government's 40-year experiment on black men with syphilis
by Borgna Brunner
"The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens... clearly racist."
—President Clinton's apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to the eight remaining survivors, May 16, 1997
For forty years between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,” their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all.
The data for the experiment was to be collected from autopsies of the men, and they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. “As I see it,” one of the doctors involved explained, “we have no further interest in these patients until they die.”
Using Human Beings as Laboratory Animals
Taliaferro Clark, Head of the U.S. Public Health Service at the outset of the experiment.
The true nature of the experiment had to be kept from the subjects to ensure their cooperation. The sharecroppers' grossly disadvantaged lot in life made them easy to manipulate. Pleased at the prospect of free medical care—almost none of them had ever seen a doctor before—these unsophisticated and trusting men became the pawns in what James Jones, author of the excellent history on the subject, Bad Blood, identified as “the longest nontherapeutic experiment on human beings in medical history.”
The study was meant to discover how syphilis affected blacks as opposed to whites—the theory being that whites experienced more neurological complications from syphilis, whereas blacks were more susceptible to cardiovascular damage. How this knowledge would have changed clinical treatment of syphilis is uncertain.
Although the PHS touted the study as one of great scientific merit, from the outset its actual benefits were hazy. It took almost forty years before someone involved in the study took a hard and honest look at the end results, reporting that “nothing learned will prevent, find, or cure a single case of infectious syphilis or bring us closer to our basic mission of controlling venereal disease in the United States.”
When the experiment was brought to the attention of the media in 1972, news anchor Harry Reasoner described it as an experiment that “used human beings as laboratory animals in a long and inefficient study of how long it takes syphilis to kill someone.”
A Heavy Price in the Name of Bad Science
To ensure that the men would show up for a painful and potentially dangerous spinal tap, the PHS doctors misled them with a letter full of promotional hype: “Last Chance for Special Free Treatment.”
The fact that autopsies would eventually be required was also concealed.
By the end of the experiment, 28 of the men had died directly of syphilis, 100 were dead of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis. How had these men been induced to endure a fatal disease in the name of science?
To persuade the community to support the experiment, one of the original doctors admitted it “was necessary to carry on this study under the guise of a demonstration and provide treatment.” At first, the men were prescribed the syphilis remedies of the day—bismuth, neoarsphenamine, and mercury— but in such small amounts that only 3 percent showed any improvement.
These token doses of medicine were good public relations and did not interfere with the true aims of the study. Eventually, all syphilis treatment was replaced with “pink medicine”—aspirin.
To ensure that the men would show up for a painful and potentially dangerous spinal tap, the PHS doctors misled them with a letter full of promotional hype: “Last Chance for Special Free Treatment.” The fact that autopsies would eventually be required was also concealed.
As a doctor explained, “If the colored population becomes aware that accepting free hospital care means a post-mortem, every darky will leave Macon County...” Even the Surgeon General of the United States participated in enticing the men to remain in the experiment, sending them certificates of appreciation after 25 years in the study.
Following Doctors' Orders
It takes little imagination to ascribe racist attitudes to the white government officials who ran the experiment, but what can one make of the numerous African Americans who collaborated with them? The experiment's name comes from the Tuskegee Institute, the black university founded by Booker T. Washington. Its affiliated hospital lent the PHS its medical facilities for the study, and other predominantly black institutions as well as local black doctors also participated. A black nurse, Eunice Rivers, was a central figure in the experiment for most of its forty years.
Veterans' Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama
The Veterans' Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama. Some of the study's post-mortem exams were conducted here.
The promise of recognition by a prestigious government agency may have obscured the troubling aspects of the study for some. A Tuskegee doctor, for example, praised “the educational advantages offered our interns and nurses as well as the added standing it will give the hospital.” Nurse Rivers explained her role as one of passive obedience: “we were taught that we never diagnosed, we never prescribed; we followed the doctor's instructions!”
It is clear that the men in the experiment trusted her and that she sincerely cared about their well-being, but her unquestioning submission to authority eclipsed her moral judgment. Even after the experiment was exposed to public scrutiny, she genuinely felt nothing ethical had been amiss.
One of the most chilling aspects of the experiment was how zealously the PHS kept these men from receiving treatment. When several nationwide campaigns to eradicate venereal disease came to Macon County, the men were prevented from participating. Even when penicillin—the first real cure for syphilis—was discovered in the 1940s, the Tuskegee men were deliberately denied the medication.
During World War II, 250 of the men registered for the draft and were consequently ordered to get treatment for syphilis, only to have the PHS exempt them. Pleased at their success, the PHS representative announced: “So far, we are keeping the known positive patients from getting treatment.” The experiment continued in spite of the Henderson Act (1943), a public health law requiring testing and treatment for venereal disease, and in spite of the World Health Organization's Declaration of Helsinki (1964), which specified that “informed consent” was needed for experiments involving human beings.
Blowing the Whistle
The PHS did not accept the media's comparison of Tuskegee with the experiments performed by Nazi doctors on Jewish victims during World War II. Yet the PHS offered the same defense offered at the Nuremberg trials — they were just carrying out orders.
The story finally broke in the Washington Star on July 25, 1972, in an article by Jean Heller of the Associated Press. Her source was Peter Buxtun, a former PHS venereal disease interviewer and one of the few whistle blowers over the years. The PHS, however, remained unrepentant, claiming the men had been “volunteers” and “were always happy to see the doctors,” and an Alabama state health officer who had been involved claimed “somebody is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.”
Under the glare of publicity, the government ended their experiment, and for the first time provided the men with effective medical treatment for syphilis. Fred Gray, a lawyer who had previously defended Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, filed a class action suit that provided a $10 million out-of-court settlement for the men and their families. Gray, however, named only whites and white organizations as defendants in the suit, portraying Tuskegee as a black and white case when it was in fact more complex than that—black doctors and institutions had been involved from beginning to end.
The PHS did not accept the media's comparison of Tuskegee with the appalling experiments performed by Nazi doctors on their Jewish victims during World War II. Yet in addition to the medical and racist parallels, the PHS offered the same morally bankrupt defense offered at the Nuremberg trials: they claimed they were just carrying out orders, mere cogs in the wheel of the PHS bureaucracy, exempt from personal responsibility.
The study's other justification—for the greater good of science—is equally spurious. Scientific protocol had been shoddy from the start. Since the men had in fact received some medication for syphilis in the beginning of the study, however inadequate, it thereby corrupted the outcome of a study of “untreated syphilis.”
The Legacy of Tuskegee
Black History Month Features
U.S. Public Health Service
Tuskegee National Historic Site
Tuskegee University (formerly the Tuskegee Institute)
Internet Resources on the Tuskegee Study
Clinton's Apology for the Experiment
In 1990, a survey found that 10 percent of African Americans believed that the U.S. government created AIDS as a plot to exterminate blacks, and another 20 percent could not rule out the possibility that this might be true. As preposterous and paranoid as this may sound, at one time the Tuskegee experiment must have seemed equally farfetched.
Who could imagine the government, all the way up to the Surgeon General of the United States, deliberately allowing a group of its citizens to die from a terrible disease for the sake of an ill-conceived experiment? In light of this and many other shameful episodes in our history, African Americans' widespread mistrust of the government and white society in general should not be a surprise to anyone.
Read more: Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmtuskegee1.html#ixzz0x9kRPFyJ