Archive | June 25, 2015

Pentagon Admits 60,000 Black Soldiers Used in Human Experiment*

Pentagon Admits 60,000 Black Soldiers Used in Human Experiment*

By David A. Love

Black enlisted men were used as human guinea pigs in chemical experiments during World War II—not by Nazi Germany, but by Uncle Sam.

As was reported by NPR, 60,000 American soldiers were enrolled in a secret chemical weapons testing program in which they were exposed to mustard gas and the chemical agent lewisite, which causes lung irritation and blisters. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Defense conducted the tests based on the race of the soldiers. Black, Japanese-American and Puerto Rican soldiers were locked in a gas chamber and exposed to the chemicals. White soldiers were used as the control group.

“They said we were being tested to see what effect these gases would have on Black skins,” said Rollins Edwards, 93, of Summerville, S.C.

“You had no choice. You did not know where you were going. They didn’t tell you anything.”

Edwards says his skin still falls off in flakes as a result of the testing. For years, the World War II veteran carried around a jar full of flakes to convince people that something had happened to him.

Although the Pentagon had admitted as early as 1991 that the Army tested mustard gas on enlisted soldiers during World War II—and the experiment program was officially declassified in 1993—news about the racial targeting of soldiers was kept under wraps until recently.

This revelation that the Army tested chemical weapons on soldiers of colour is both troubling and an outrage, but the concept of Black people being used in medical and other experiments is by no means a new phenomenon. There are numerous examples of Black people being used as guinea pigs in unethical medical experiments. Perhaps the most well-known example is the Tuskegee experiment, in which the Tuskegee Institute and the U.S. Public Health Service studied the natural progression of syphilis in 600 Black men, who were never notified of their condition and were not treated. The tests, which began in 1932, did not end until news reports exposed the inhumane and racist practice in 1972.

But there are other cases beyond Tuskegee. For example, in the early 1800s, Sara Baartman, or “Hottentot Venus,” one of two KhoiKhoi women made into freak show attractions in Europe, was subjected to medical experiments. And modern gynaecology was the result of torturous gynaecological experiments that J. Marion Sims performed on enslaved women without anesthesia.

At the turn of the century, the U.S. Public Health Service conducted experiments on Black prisoners suffering from pellagra, which is a B-13 or niacin deficiency leading to sensitivity to sunlight skin lesions, dementia and death. In 1945, 53-year-old truck driver, Ebb Cabe, was injected with plutonium by the U.S. Atomic Agency after he was taken to the hospital and kept there for six months following a car accident. Cabe received 40 times the amount of plutonium—the key ingredient for a nuclear bomb—a typical person is exposed to over the course of a lifetime. He died eight years later of heart failure.

During the 1950s, the CIA and the U.S. military released half a million mosquitoes with yellow and dengue fever into Black Florida communities, leading to multiple illnesses and deaths. The government wanted to assess the use of mosquitoes as military weapons. Also in that decade, Henrietta Lacks became the first test subject on cloning, without her knowledge or permission, with 20 tons of her cells grown since her death.

During the 1950s and 1960s, poor Black St. Louis neighbourhoods were used in Cold War experiments in which the Army, using aerosol blowers mounted on vehicles and rooftops, sprayed a radiation-laced toxin called zinc cadmium sulfide, a fluorescent powder. Thousands likely inhaled the toxins.

In the 1990s, children in Los Angeles were injected with an experimental measles vaccine unapproved by the FDA, and one which had developed a bad reputation for increasing high death rates in Haiti, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.

Between 2006 and 2010, 148 female prisoners in two California prisons—the majority Black and Latino— were sterilized without their consent. Meanwhile, Israel subjected African immigrant women to mandatory contraceptive injections of Depo-Provera, leading to a 20 percent birth rate decline for Ethiopian Israelis.

In 2000, federally funded researchers placed sludge from a sewage treatment plant on lawns and vacant lots in Baltimore and East St. Louis. The communities were told the toxic waste was safe. And in 2012, at least 500 children in Chad were given MenAfriVac—whose side effects include convulsions and paralysis— without notification or parental consent.

In addition, the CDC hid evidence that Black babies had more than triple the chance of developing autism if they were given an experimental measles vaccine before the age of three.

For years, the Black community has warned of conspiracies against their communities, and were told they were neurotic and imagining things. But as the latest news from the Pentagon shows us, these conspiracies are not theories but reality.


Related Topics:

Reliving the Past of Human Experimentation

Post-Ebola Syndrome or Fluoroquinolone Poisoning?*

Nuclear Tests: South Pacific Islands to Sue France for $1billion*

US Vaporized and Experimented on the Indigenous of Marshall Islands*

Monsanto’s Legacy to the Vietnamese


U.K. Doctors Want NHS Out of TTIP Now*

U.K. Doctors Want NHS Out of TTIP Now*

By Michaela Whitton

Doctors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of urging the U.K. Government to remove health and social care services from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. A debate on the first day of the British Medical Association’s annual meeting in Liverpool argued that TTIP is designed to meet the interests of private corporations and opens up the health service to privatization by U.S. firms.

Edinburgh general practitioner Dr. Gregor Venters said, “It will have a deleterious effect on public health and make privatisation of the NHS not only possible but probable. The least we can expect is the exclusion of health and social care and public health policy from the process.“

The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 trashed the founding NHS principles of free services and universal access by paving the way for private providers to profit from ill health. The much talked about Section 75 requires commissioners to put up for bid everything that can be provided by an organization other than the NHS.

If TTIP passes, it will become a bridge between multinational corporations and the Health and Social Care Act, effectively cementing the privatization.

“If there is anything resembling an NHS by the time this treaty is negotiated it won’t survive,” another GP warned.

In other words, the NHS will switch from being a social body that acts in the interests of patients to an economic body acting in the interest of profits— leading to dire consequences for U.K. residents.

Public health regulations would harmonize with U.S. regulations and access to generic drugs would be under increased threat. The E.U.-U.S. trade deal would cut trade barriers across the Atlantic, allowing the free flow of goods and services and locking states into private ownership deals, placing profit over equality and social need.

The U.K. and U.S. health care systems will be further aligned and the overriding power transferred to corporations under free trade agreements. Regulatory differences will be removed and corporations could enter the U.K. market and operate without limits on activities.

Part of this power is the poisonous mechanism of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which allows an investor from one country to bring a case directly against the country where they have invested. In special courts, threats of huge compensation claims could lock the NHS into an expanded corporate market with governments potentially being sued for new regulations that might limit expected future profits. Private healthcare providers could potentially sue the British government if it ever attempted to re-nationalize health care.

Some epic examples of how free trade agreements and ISDS have enabled transnationals to sue governments on the basis of a “potential loss in profits” include the tobacco industry suing Uruguay’s government for increasing the size of health warnings on cigarette packaging, a nuclear company hauling Germany to court for abandoning atomic power, U.S. pharmaceutical giants challenging Canada for restricting the use of high price drugs, and French company Veolia attempting to sue the Egyptian government for raising the minimum wage and threatening its profits.

At the conference where all but one delegate voted in favour of urging the government to remove public health legislation and health and social care services from the TTIP negotiations, another BMA representative said, “The correct motion is to kill this treaty dead, not to tolerate it sneaking in and mugging us.”

As well as directly affecting health care, the destruction of the NHS signifies something else—namely, the erosion of the U.K. government’s duty to provide care to everyone in society, separate from commerce and profit.

Some may query whether the British government still makes decisions for the benefit of its citizens. If indeed it does, TTIP will massively diminish its ability to do so.


Related Topics:

U.K. Breaking the Social Contract Set’s it Back to Post-WWII*

Thousands Protest in the UK Over Health Cuts*

Corporation vs. State: Sweeping TPP Powers Strip Sovereignty*

European Parliament Vote on TTIP Postponed*

This is what TPP Looks Like: World Bank Demands Argentina Pay French Company*

Over 1,000 Plaintiffs File Lawsuit to Keep Japan out of TPP*

Criminalizing Healthy Food Paves Way for TPP*

TPP Preparedness: EU Drops Pesticide Laws*

Detroit: Your World under TPP*