A recent article by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) claims that at least a dozen classified human subject research projects are still being carried out today in the USA.
The Environment Defense Institute news from September 2018 lists the projects which were received by FAS using the Freedom of Information Act.
The names of the projects are beyond belief:
The human research at the Idaho National Laboratory has included workers swallowing encapsulated radioactive materials in order to calibrate whole-body counters (from 1965 to 1972). This experiment was also discussed at Cambridge University in the UK using RAF Volunteers.
The Controlled Environmental Radioiodine Tests (CERTS) were carried out from 1963 to 1968 and involved volunteers standing downwind from intentional iodine-131 airborne releases. This test was tame compared to some of the thousands of other human radiation research experiments that have been carried out over decades.
The Human Radiation Experiment collection of DOE documents takes up dozens of binders in the Department of Energy's collection of which no one can get access to or they were deliberately disposed of.
A Department of Energy list of human research experiments at various laboratories conduced before the mid-1990's is provided online:
Between 1945 and 1957, eighteen unsuspecting medical patients were injected with plutonium. Surviving patients and their survivors did not know that they had been injected until the documents were made public in 1990. Eleven of the patients were paid for the study.
Generally, about five micro-grams of plutonium was injected into each patient, and this was five times the amount thought to be allowable for radiation workers. The amount of plutonium injected was known to be harmful.
Preference was given to patients who they though would never ask questions and who would stay in the hospital for a month of more during which time their urine would be collected for analysis of plutonium. The organs of some of the patients were harvested without permission of the deceased or their family...and not always after the patient died!
Of the plutonium that enters the blood stream (via injection or wound entry), about 50 percent will be retained in bone and will affect bone marrow where blood is produced. Thirty percent will be retained in the liver. Gonad and kidney health are also affected.
A researcher found that 48 percent of the plutonium had deposited in the liver of one human subject and he had not expected this. The blood cells of another patient were thought to be within normal limits, but years later, another test would indicate the cells were of "very rare" shapes and sizes".
There have been other injections without consent, including six patients injected with uranium at the University of Rochester. There were the 74 Massachusetts 7-year old boys who were fed oatmeal mixed with radioactive iron or calcium between 1946-1953. There were the 751 pregnant mothers given radioactive iron at Vanderbilt University Hospital in the mid 1940's. They were told they were being given vitamins.
The point of this blog is to illustrate that radiation researchers across the world, not just in the USA ignored ethics even after concerns were raised and World War II had ended. In 1947, the Atomic Energy Commission, predecessor to the Department of Energy, developed new rules for human experimentation that stipulated:
(1) That no experiment could be undertaken unless it was expected to benefit the patient.
(2) The medical file should contain documentation showing patient consent
(3) At least 2 doctors should certify in writing that the possible effects of the treatment had been explained and the patient consented.
These guidelines were immediately ignored as thousands of human research experiments were conducted during three decades of cold war research.
Researchers prior to the 1990's were willing to put research and their careers ahead of the human beings that they would inflict harm and suffering on. I am not convinced that anything has changed in 2019.
The denial continues, with evidence buried in archives or destroyed. Some people believe that the term 'Guinea Pig' is too strong, I disagree.
Full details on the Environmental Defense Institute can be found on their website