U.S. Government Chemically Attacked St. Louis during Cold War

Attacks focused on poor neighborhoods populated by minorities.


Government said it was an experiment to ”protect” people a Russian attack.

Doris Spates was a baby when her father died inexplicably in 1955. She has watched four siblings die of cancer, and she survived cervical cancer.

After learning that the Army conducted secret chemical testing in her impoverished St. Louis neighborhood at the height of the Cold War, she wonders if her own government is to blame.

In the mid-1950s, and again a decade later, the Army used motorized blowers atop a low-income housing high-rise, at schools and from the backs of station wagons to send a potentially dangerous compound into the already-hazy air in predominantly black areas of St. Louis.

Local officials were told at the time that the government was testing a smoke screen that could shield St. Louis from aerial observation in case the Russians attacked.

But in 1994, the government said the tests were part of a biological weapons program and St. Louis was chosen because it bore some resemblance to Russian cities that the U.S. might attack. The material being sprayed was zinc cadmium sulfide, a fine fluorescent powder.

Now, new research is raising greater concern about the implications of those tests. St. Louis Community College-Meramec sociology professor Lisa Martino-Taylor’s research has raised the possibility that the Army performed radiation testing by mixing radioactive particles with the zinc cadmium sulfide, though she concedes there is no direct proof.

But her report, released late last month, was troubling enough that both U.S. senators from Missouri wrote to Army Secretary John McHugh demanding answers.

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U.S. Universities and Big Pharma Conduct Illegal Human Experiments in Africa

People’s Constitution
November 9, 2011

A new policy brief faults prominent institutions and drug companies like Pfizer, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and Population Council, for their involvement in unethical and illegal human experimentation in Africa.

The report is titled “Non-Consensual Research in Africa: The Outsourcing of Tuskegee” in reference to the illegal human experiment conducted in Tuskegee, Alabama, between 1932 and 1972 by the US Public Health Service. In that experiment, some 600 impoverished African-American men were observed in a study on the progression of untreated syphilis. Some of the men were intentionally infected with the disease and all of them were denied the cure. Regrettably, the report notes, no one was held accountable for this crime against humanity.

The new report details human experiments led by US researchers and drug companies on Africans who are typically undereducated, poor, and lack full understanding of their rights. The human subjects often are led to believe that they are receiving medical treatment from governmental health services or health ministries.

These practices hearken back to the appalling experiments carried out by US researchers in Guatemala in the 1940s where hundreds of Guatemalans were deliberately infected with sexually transmitted diseases without information or consent. President Obama formally apologized to Guatemala for these experiments last year.

Human experimentation in the United States is regulated by the Office of Research Integrity and various Ethical Research Institutional Boards. Many African countries lack these institutions. Even when they exist, they lack independence and are controlled by corrupt government officials.

In one experiment on HIV sponsored by Gilead Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and operated by Family Health International, Cameroonian subjects were given details about the experiment in English even though many spoke only French and were illiterate. Five women were allegedly infected with HIV in the experiment but were not given antiretroviral drugs.

In another experiment in Nigeria led by Pfizer physicians, researchers injected children with an antibiotic called Trovan during a meningitis outbreak without providing their families with informed consent forms that fully disclose the side effects and purpose of the experiment. Eleven children died and many were left paralyzed.

In South Africa and Namibia, mothers with HIV/AIDS are routinely sterilized without their informed consent. Countries that perform these procedures are known to receive funding in the form of grants and incentives from USAID and other aid organizations.

The report explains that US researchers and drug companies violate the laws and protocols of the Declaration at Helsinki (1964) and the Belmont Report which provide ethical guidelines on human experimentation.

Moreover, the results of unethical and fraudulent experiments are laundered in the United States and Europe through the peer-review system. Many of the “peers” who review these experiments are themselves involved in the same unethical conduct. Others are concerned about the possibility of professional alienation if they speak out.

The authors make several demands so that these practices are ended. They include holding congressional hearings so that the matter is brought to the public’s attention and enacting new legislation to ensure that drugs are not approved by the FDA unless the research on which they are based comply with ethical research principles.

Panel Discovers New Atrocities in Guatemalan Human Experiments

Associated Press
August 31, 2011

ATLANTA (AP) — A presidential panel on Monday disclosed shocking new details of U.S. medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study.

The Guatemala experiments are already considered one of the darker episodes of medical research in U.S. history, but panel members say the new information indicates that the researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era.

“The researchers put their own medical advancement first and human decency a far second,” said Anita Allen, a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

From 1946-48, the U.S. Public Health Service and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with several Guatemalan government agencies to do medical research — paid for by the U.S. government — that involved deliberately exposing people to sexually transmitted diseases.

The researchers apparently were trying to see if penicillin, then relatively new, could prevent infections in the 1,300 people exposed to syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid. Those infected included soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis.

The commission revealed Monday that only about 700 of those infected received some sort of treatment. Also, 83 people died, although it’s not clear if the deaths were directly due to the experiments.

The research came up with no useful medical information, according to some experts. It was hidden for decades but came to light last year, after a Wellesley College medical historian discovered records among the papers of Dr. John Cutler, who led the experiments.

President Barack Obama called Guatemala’s president, Alvaro Colom, to apologize. He also ordered his bioethics commission to review the Guatemala experiments. That work is nearly done. Though the final report is not due until next month, commission members discussed some of the findings at a meeting Monday in Washington.

They revealed that some of the experiments were more shocking than was previously known.

For example, seven women with epilepsy, who were housed at Guatemala’s Asilo de Alienados (Home for the Insane), were injected with syphilis below the back of the skull, a risky procedure. The researchers thought the new infection might somehow help cure epilepsy. The women each got bacterial meningitis, probably as a result of the unsterile injections, but were treated.

Perhaps the most disturbing details involved a female syphilis patient with an undisclosed terminal illness. The researchers, curious to see the impact of an additional infection, infected her with gonorrhea in her eyes and elsewhere. Six months later she died.

Dr. Amy Gutmann, head of the commission, described the case as “chillingly egregious.”

During that time, other researchers were also using people as human guinea pigs, in some cases infecting them with illnesses. Studies weren’t as regulated then, and the planning-on-the-fly feel of Cutler’s work was not unique, some experts have noted.

But panel members concluded that the Guatemala research was bad even by the standards of the time. They compared the work to a 1943 experiment by Cutler and others in which prison inmates were infected with gonorrhea in Terre Haute, Ind. The inmates were volunteers who were told what was involved in the study and gave their consent. The Guatemalan participants — or many of them — received no such explanations and did not give informed consent, the commission said.

The commission is working on a second report examining federally funded international studies to make sure current research is being done ethically. That report is expected at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the Guatemalan government has vowed to do its own investigation into the Cutler study. A spokesman for Vice President Rafael Espada said the report should be done by November.

Alimentos Modificados Genéticamente – ¿Envenenando Nuestra Gente?

Traducción Luis R. Miranda
Junio 9, 2011


Uno de los más extensos experimentos no regulados en seres humanos se está llevando a cabo aquí en África del Sur. Los sudafricanos fueron los primeros en el mundo en consumir alimentos genéticamente modificados (OGM)como parte de su dieta. Según fuentes de la industria más del 75% de nuestro maíz blanco es ahora GM. Esto significa que la papilla consumida a diario en la mayoría de los hogares de Sudáfrica está compuesto de maíz genéticamente modificado.

La afirmación de la industria que nadie se ha enfermado después de ingerir alimentos modificados genéticamente es científicamente deshonesta. Se basa en el principio de “si no miras, no encuentras”. Debido a que los alimentos modificados genéticamente no están claramente identificados a través de un etiquetado claro, es muy imposible saber qué enfermedades están relacionadas con el consumo del producto.

Se dice que estos alimentos han sido probados y son seguros. Al mismo tiempo, los productores de transgénicos afirman que sus productos son “sustancialmente equivalentes” – idénticos a sus contra partes naturales. Como tales, no requieren pruebas. Cuando las pruebas se ha hecho han sido presas de las mismas trampas que han afectado las pruebas de toxicología hechas a productos químicos durante décadas. No es sorprendente que las empresas que producen OGM, sin excepción han evolucionado a partir de las empresas químicas agrícolas, infames en su abuso de los protocolos estadísticos y experimentales.

La mayoría de las pruebas se han realizado en los alimentos y presentado por las mismas compañías que buscan su aprobación. El diseño de estas pruebas ha sido opaco y engañoso. Las investigaciones han demostrado que los resultados han sido sistemáticamente manipulados y sesgados. Dice la epidemióloga Judy Carman: “Su enfoque conjunto para el análisis no sería útil para una clase de estadística básica.”

Los primeros análisis de todos los estudios de alimentación encuentran exactamente tres experimentos. Aún estas pruebas muestran tendencias preocupantes. Más reciente meta-análisis han reforzado estas preocupaciones. Un hallazgo consistente ha sido el daño al hígado y los riñones. Cabe destacar que el hígado y la enfermedad renal han aumentado desde que los cultivos transgénicos se introdujeron en los EE.UU..

Lo notable es que cuando los investigadores empleados o conectados a los desarrolladores de los alimentos GM hicieron estudios, no se reportaron problemas. Por otra parte, estudios realizados por científicos independientes siempre motivan su preocupación. Un análisis publicado recientemente puso de relieve esta tendencia. Esta relación es común en los análisis de otros productos químicos y alimentos.

Más preocupante aún es el hecho de que los estudios de alimentación fueron hechos a muy corto plazo, con no más de tres meses. Fundamentalmente, ninguno de ellos utiliza más de un tercio de los productos transgénicos en la dieta. En el sur de África, comemos maíz transgénico no identificado como un alimento básico en niveles que en muchos casos puede alcanzar el 100% de la dieta. La pregunta es: Si el daño es preocupante y está estadísticamente demostrado que los riñones, el hígado y otros órganos son destruídos cuando los animales son alimentados con un tercio de su dieta con productos modificados genéticamente, en estudios de una duración de tres meses, entonces ¿qué diablos va a pasar con aquellos de nosotros que comemos una dieta que es predominantemente a base de maíz GM, todos los días durante años?

Esto no es nada menos que un experimento masivo no regulado. Para empeorar las cosas este experimento no se lleva a cabo en una población sana, sino en una cuya salud está doblemente comprometida: en primer lugar, las personas no comen una dieta lo suficientemente variada. En segundo lugar, tenemos el mayor número de habitantes con VIH, SIDA e infecciones de tuberculosis en el mundo.

Hay muchos otros estudios que han señalado los problemas del consumo de los cultivos transgénicos, incluso a niveles reducidos de una tercera parte de la dieta total. Los estudios han demostrado menor recuento de espermatozoides y esterilidad. Los investigadores han pedido constantemente para que se siga investigando. Todo lo que la industria de los transgénicos hace es lo de siempre; intentar salirse con la suya.

Esta situación escandalosa cuenta con la asistencia de nuestra mala regulación de los alimentos modificados genéticamente que sólo se identificarán a finales de este año. En otras palabras, las personas han estado comiendo alimentos GM en la ignorancia total de los hechos. Hasta el momento, no hay una prueba independiente, llevada a cabo durante generaciones sobre como la dieta de varias de las personas se ve afectada al consumir alimentos GM. Esto equivale a poco menos que negligencia criminal por parte de nuestro gobierno, que siempre ha hecho caso omiso de estas preocupaciones, y en lugar ha tomado el lado de una industria con una trayectoria muy defectuosa.

Por supuesto esta industria insiste en que la Unión Europea y otros han producido informes que demuestran que los cultivos transgénicos no tienen ningún riesgo para la salud. El hecho es que los reguladores de la UE se han basado en exactamente las mismas pruebas producidas por la propia industria. En segundo lugar, la influencia de la industria en el régimen normativo es significativo. Esta industria tiene no sólo los reguladores habitualmente mal informados, a través de pruebas con el suministro de datos estadísticos sesgados, pero siempre ha interferido en el régimen de reglamentación.
Por ejemplo, la normativa que regula los cultivos transgénicos en los EE.UU. fue redactada por el ex jefe de asuntos reguladores de Monsanto, Michael Taylor, quien dejó la empresa Monsanto para trabajar en el gobierno con el fin de elaborar una legislación favorable a la industria. Luego regresó a Monsanto. Desde entonces, ha vuelto al gobierno, en lo que se conoce como “la puerta giratoria”. Esto no es en absoluto un caso aislado y una situación similar existe en el sur de África.

Esta es sólo la punta del iceberg. Hay casos documentados de como la industria restringe y prohíbe las pruebas independientes de sus productos. Esto es posible debido a que estos productos están patentados se necesita permiso de las empresas para accesar diversos aspectos cruciales de e información en las pruebas científicas, el cual es siempre negado.

No se trata sólo de los peligros inherentes de los cultivos transgénicos. El producto GM más cultivado en el mundo, la soja resistente a los herbicidas, se ha relacionado con niveles altos del herbicida Roundup, fabricado por Monsanto, que también es propietaria de las patentes en más del 90% de todos los cultivos transgénicos a nivel mundial. Monsanto también introdujo el maíz resistentes a los herbicidas, que se cultivan en el sur de África. Pese a las afirmaciones de que los cultivos transgénicos reducen el uso de productos químicos, hemos visto exactamente que lo contrario ocurre en todo el mundo.

Por ejemplo, en Argentina, el uso de herbicidas ha aumentado 180 veces en 13 años. En los EE.UU., 174 000 toneladas más se usan cada año. En Brasil es de hasta un 95%. La responsabilidad del impacto ambiental y en la salud de las personas no es la preocupación de los agricultores, sino que simplemente es pasada a los consumidores, que no son los más sabios. Y los riesgos que estos productos químicos crean son cada vez más y más preocupantes que los cultivos transgénicos en sí.

Cuando los primeros cultivos transgénicos se introdujeron la cantidad permitida legalmente de residuos de herbicidas en los alimentos se aumento en 200 veces en el caso de la Unión Europea, con incrementos similares en otros lugares, todo para acomodar las peticiones de las corporaciones. Roundup está vinculado a graves impactos en la salud humana, incluidos los daños al crecimiento del embrión y el feto (impactos tetragénicos), así como el daño celular, entre muchos otros impactos sobre los mamíferos. Hay literalmente docenas de estudios publicados que indican las preocupaciones acerca de este producto químico. También afecta a los anfibios, insectos, lombrices y bacterias del suelo que liberan nutrientes para las plantas.

Además de estas preocupaciones, hay una inconsistencia evidente en el argumento de que los cultivos transgénicos son necesarios para alimentar al mundo: El hecho de que el producto GM más cultivado en el mundo, la soja, siempre ha sido demostrado que rinden menos que la soja convencional y natural. A pesar de años de promesas de que los cultivos GM son más resistentes a la sequía estas promesas siguen sin cumplirse.

Oxfam Internacional publicó recientemente un informe que indica que los precios de los alimentos se duplicaran, desde sus ya altos niveles en las próximas dos décadas. ¿Cómo podemos solucionar este problema? Somos constantemente informados por los partidarios de los cultivos transgénicos que debemos adoptar la tecnología para alimentar al mundo. La realidad es que los programas de mejoramiento convencional de plantas han logrado mucho más, a un costo mucho más bajo, mejorando el rendimiento, la resistencia viral, la mejora nutricional y resistencia a la sequía.

Quince años de cultivos genéticamente modificados en África del Sur han demostrado que la rápida adopción de cultivos transgénicos no ha tenido impacto alguno sobre la cantidad de alimentos que llegan a la boca de los más necesitados. La única conclusión que puede ser obtenida es que los cultivos transgénicos no son la solución. Más importante es que estamos jugando un peligroso juego de la ruleta rusa genética con la salud de nuestro pueblo.

La Evaluación Internacional del Papel del Conocimiento, Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo (IAASTD), en su informe titulado “Agricultura en la encrucijada”, señaló que los cultivos transgénicos en el mejor de los casos desempeñará un papel limitado en la lucha contra el hambre mundial. El enfoque en la agricultura de altos insumos industriales y los OGM han marginado las prácticas agrícolas más eficaces. El estudio de la IAASTD fue financiado por el Banco Mundial y varios organismos de la ONU, e involucró a más de 400 expertos en agricultura de todo el mundo.

El enfoque perjudicial en los cultivos transgénicos en las últimas dos décadas ha contribuido a retrasar el desarrollo de la investigación que se necesita con urgencia. En lugar de centrarse en el clima y los aspectos relacionados en los sistemas de producción de las comunidades que necesitamos para fomentar la seguridad alimentaria y la verdadera independencia, el enfoque político-institucional sobre los cultivos transgénicos nos ha dirigido hacia la confianza en el modelo de dependencia personificado por la agricultura industrial, en cuanto erosiona nuestra salud y la ya precaria situación.
Se mire como se mire, los cultivos transgénicos personifican el problema, no la solución.

GM Food – Poisoning Our People?

Glenn Ashton
June 8, 2011

One of the most massive unregulated experiments on humans ever is being carried out right here in South Africa. South Africans are the first people in the world to consume a genetically modified (GM) food as a staple. According to industry sources more than 75% of our white maize is now GM. This means that the pap and samp consumed daily in the majority of South African households is now mainly comprised of genetically modified maize.

The industry claim that nobody has become ill from GM foods is scientifically dishonest. It is based on the principle of “don’t look – don’t find.” Because GM foods are not clearly identified through clear labelling, it is impossible to know what sicknesses are related to the consumption of the product.

We are repeatedly told these are the most widely tested foods ever. However, GM producers claim their products to be ‘substantially equivalent’ – identical to their natural counterparts. As such they do not require testing. Where testing has been done it has fallen prey to the same pitfalls that have dogged chemical and toxicological testing for decades. This is unsurprising as the GM companies have without exception evolved from agricultural chemical companies, infamous in their abuse of statistical and experimental protocols.

Most food tests have been undertaken and submitted by the very companies seeking approval. The design of these tests has been opaque and misleading. Research has shown results to have been routinely manipulated and skewed to the extent that epidemiologist Judy Carman said, “Their whole approach to the analysis would fail a basic statistics class.”

The earliest analysis of all feeding studies found exactly three experiments. Even these indicated worrying trends. More recent meta-analyses have reinforced these concerns. A consistent finding has been damage to the liver and kidneys. It is notable that liver and kidney disease has increased since GM crops were introduced in the US.

What is remarkable is that when researchers employed or connected to the developers of GM foods did studies, no problems were reported. On the other hand, studies undertaken by independent scientists consistently raised concerns. A recently published analysis highlighted this trend. This relationship is common in analyses of other chemicals and foodstuff.

Of even more concern is the fact that feeding studies were extremely short term, with most lasting three months. Crucially, none of them used more than one-third of GM product in the diet. In South Africa we eat unidentified GM white maize as a staple food at levels that may in many cases reach 100% of the diet. The question is: If statistically worrying damage is shown to kidney, liver and other organs when animals are fed one third of their diet as GM products, in studies lasting three months, then what on earth will happen to those of us who eat a diet that is predominantly based on GM maize, every day for years on end?

This is nothing less than a massive, unregulated experiment. To make matters worse this experiment is not being undertaken on a healthy population but one that is doubly compromised: First through most people not eating a sufficient or varied enough diet and secondly because we have the highest burden of HIV, AIDS and TB infections in the world.

There are numerous other studies that have indicated problems from consuming GM crops, even at reduced levels of a third of the total diet. Studies have shown reduced sperm count and even sterility. Researchers have consistently called for further work to be done. All the GM industry does is consistently try to spin itself out of trouble.

This outrageous situation is assisted by our poor regulation of GM food that will only need to be labelled later this year. In other words we have been eating the world’s first GM staple food in total ignorance of the fact. So far not one independent, multi-generational dietary test has been undertaken locally by independent scientists. This amounts to little less than criminal negligence by our government, which has consistently ignored all of these concerns, instead taking the side of an industry with a seriously blemished track record.

Of course this industry insists that the EU and others have produced reports clearing GM crops of any health risk. The fact remains that EU regulators have relied upon exactly the same compromised tests consistently produced by the industry itself. Secondly, the influence of industry within the regulatory regime is significant. This industry has not only routinely misinformed regulators, through supplying tests with skewed statistical data, but it has consistently interfered in the regulatory regime itself.

For instance, the regulations governing GM crops in the US were drafted by the ex-Monsanto head of regulatory affairs, Michael Taylor, who left Monsanto to work in government in order to draft industry friendly legislation. He then returned to Monsanto. He has since returned to government, in what is known as ‘the revolving door’. This is not by any means an isolated case and a similar situation exists in South Africa.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are repeated documented cases of this industry restricting and prohibiting independent testing of its products. This is possible because these products are patented and owned by the companies and permission must be granted for access to various crucial aspects of information in scientific testing, which is consistently refused.

It is not only the inherent dangers associated with GM crops themselves. The most widely grown GM crop in the world, herbicide resistant soy, has been linked to sharply increased levels of the herbicide Roundup, made by Monsanto, which also owns the patents on over 90% of all GM crops grown globally. Monsanto is also rapidly introducing herbicide resistant maize, now being grown in South Africa. Despite claims that GM crops reduce chemical use, we have seen exactly the opposite occurring around the world.

For instance, in Argentina, herbicide use has increased 180 fold in 13 years. In the USA, 174 000 tonnes more are used per year. In Brazil it is up by 95%. Responsibility for the downstream health impacts is not the farmers’ concern but is simply passed onto consumers who are none the wiser. And the risks of these chemicals are increasingly been proven to be as worrying, if not more so, than the concerns about the GM crops themselves.

When the first GM crops were introduced the amount of herbicide residue on food was permitted to be increased by 200 times in the case of the European Union, with similar increases elsewhere. Roundup is linked to serious human health impacts, including damage to embryo and fetus growth (tetragenic impacts) as well as cellular damage, amongst many other impacts on mammals. There are literally dozens of published studies indicating concerns about this chemical. It also affects amphibians, insects, earthworms and soil bacteria that liberate plant nutrients.

Besides these serious concerns, there is a final, glaring inconsistency in the argument that GM crops are required to feed the world. This is the fact that the most widely grown GM crop in the world, GM soy, has consistently been shown to yield less than conventional, natural soy. Despite years of promises of more nutritional or drought resistant GM crops, these promises remain unmet.

Oxfam recently released a report stating that food prices will more than double, from already high levels, over the next two decades. How do we address this problem? We are constantly informed by supporters of GM crops that we must adopt their technology to feed the world. The reality is that conventional plant breeding programmes have achieved far more, at far lower cost, enhancing yield, viral resistance, nutritional improvement and drought resistance.

Fifteen years of growing GM crops in South Africa has demonstrated that the rapid uptake of GM crops has had no impact at all on the amount of food reaching the mouths of the most needy. The only conclusion can be that GM crops are not the solution. More importantly we are playing a dangerous game of genetic roulette with the health of our people.

The four year International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), in its report entitled “Agriculture at a Crossroads” indicated that GM crops would at best play a limited role in tackling global hunger. The focus on high-input industrial farming and GMOs has marginalised far more effective agricultural practices. The IAASTD study was funded by the World Bank and several leading UN organisations, and involved over 400 agricultural experts from around the world.

The perverse focus on GM crops over the past two decades has been instrumental in retarding development of urgently needed research. Instead of focussing on the proven, climate resilient and community based food production systems we require to encourage true food security and independence, the political-corporate focus on GM crops has steered us towards reliance on the dependency model epitomised by industrial agriculture, while simultaneously eroding our already tenuous health status.

Every way you look at it, GM crops epitomise the problem, not the solution.