- U.S. Biological Weapon Testing
United Statesgovernment performed experiments related to biological warfareon consenting and non-consenting military personnel and occasionally civilians, especially during the Cold War. President Richard Nixondecided to officially end the U.S. biological weapons program in 1969, but tests continued past this date because they were considered defensive in nature.
Experiments on consenting individuals
Operation Whitecoatinvolved the controlled testing of many serious agents on military personnel who did consent to experimentation, and understood the risks involved. No deaths are known to have resulted from this program.
Experiments on non-consenting individuals
In August of
1949a U.S. Army Special Operations Division, operating out of Fort Detrickin Maryland, set up its first test at The Pentagonin Washington, D.C.Operatives sprayed harmless bacteria into the building's air conditioning system and observed as the microbes spread throughout the Pentagon.cite web
title =Timeline: Biological Weapons
publisher =American Experience
accessdate =2007-04-09 ]
There were massive medical experiments that involved civilians who had not consented to participate. Often, these experiments took place in urban areas in order to test dispersion methods. Questions were raised about detrimental health effects after experiments in San Francisco,
California, were followed by a spike in hospital visits; however, in 1977the Centers for Disease Control and Preventiondetermined that there was no association between the testing and the occurrence of pneumoniaor influenza.cite web
title =Biological Weapons-United States
publisher =Global Security.org
accessdate =2007-04-09 ]
The San Francisco test involved a U.S. Navy ship that sprayed
Serratia marcescensfrom the bay; it traveled more than 30 miles.
Scientists tested biological pathogens, including "Bacillus globigii", which were thought to be harmless, at public places such as subways. A light bulb containing "Bacillus globigii" was dropped on
New York City's subway system; the result was strong enough to affect people prone to illness (also known as Subway Experiment). cite news
title =Hidden history of US germ testing
accessdate =08-04-2007 ] Based on the circulation measurements, thousands of people would have been killed if a dangerous microbe was released in the same manner.
jet aircraftreleased material over Victoria, Texas, that was monitored in the Florida Keys.
In February, 2008, the GAO released report GAO-08-366 titled, "CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE, DOD and VA Need to Improve Efforts to Identify and Notify Individuals Potentially Exposed during Chemical and Biological Tests." The report stated that tens of thousands of military personnel and civilians may have been exposed to biological and chemical substances through DOD tests. In 2003, the DOD reported it had identified 5,842 military personnel and estimated 350 civilians as being potentially exposed during Project 112.
The GAO asserts that the DOD's decision in 2003 to stop searching for people affected by the tests was premature. They also claimed that the DOD made no effort to inform civilians of exposure; furthermore, they assert that the VA is not using available resources to inform veterans of possible exposure or to determine if they were deceased. After the DOD halted efforts to find those who may have been affected by the tests, non-DOD sources have identified approximately 600 additional names of individuals who were potentially exposed during Project 112.cite web
title =Chemical and Biological Defense: DOD and VA Need to Improve Efforts to Identify and Notify Individuals Potentially Exposed during Chemical and Biological Tests
publisher =Government Accountability Office
date = 2008-02-28
accessdate =2008-03-17 ] Some of the individuals were identified after the GAO reviewed records stored at the
Dugway Proving Ground, others were identified by the Institute of Medicine.cite news
title =Report: Military lagged in contacting Utahns, others exposed to tests
publisher =Salt Lake Tribune
accessdate =08-04-2007 ] Many of the newly identified suffer from long term illnesses that may have been caused by the biological or chemical testing. cite news
publisher =Salt Lake Tribune
accessdate =08-04-2007 ]
United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories
Soviet program of biological weapons
Iraq and weapons of mass destruction
* US Senate Report on chemical weapons
Tuskegee Syphilis Study
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