In 2001 a justice of Maryland’s highest court implied that the US government, including the EPA, has learned a lot from the Nazis about how to turn innocent and unsuspecting citizens into experimental Guinea pigs.
Justice Cathell juxtaposed the US government’s history of human research against the Nazis’ human research. For example from 1932 until 1972, the US Public Health Service conducted the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Study that withheld penicillin and other treatment options from 400 poor black sharecroppers infected with syphilis in order to study the long term effects of the disease. Not only was treatment and diagnosis information withheld from the subjects, but they were blatantly lied to in order to obtain and maintain their cooperation. Link to Wikipedia article.
For decades before, during, and after WWII, the US government approved, funded, and participated in the eugenics craze so admired by Hitler, including incarcerating and forcefully sterilizing of thousands of mentally retarded individuals. Wiki link.
In the 1940’s and 1950’s the US government knowingly and intentionally exposed US servicemen to fallout radiation from atomic bomb tests, and Navajo Indian uranium miners to radioactive mining dust. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the Army and CIA intentionally and secretly poisoned dozens of soldiers with hallucinogens, including LSD. Some committed suicide during their hallucinations. In 1963 Jewish males were unwittingly injected with live cancer cells in a study funded by the US Public Health Services and the American Cancer Society.
Mind you, these are only progroms that became public. These are the tip of the iceberg.
The case Justice Cathell was writing about was a suit brought by Baltimore families over a study funded and approved by the EPA and conducted in the Baltimore inner city projects by a worrisome dude named Mark Farfel, who headed the lead studies wing of one of Johns Hopkins research groups, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Inc. He is now head of the World Trade Center Registry for 9/11 victims. In this first study, which was conducted in the 1990’s, the families were recruited to live in inner city houses that were expected to produce lead dust. The experiment was designed to determine if different methods of reclaiming houses tainted by lead were effective. The way you do that, apparently, is turn kids into your Guinea pigs and see how much lead they accumulate when living in houses with differing lead-histories.
Johns Hopkins people were right in the middle of this mess. Not only did they design the experiments, write the grant applications, and collect the grant money, but the John Hopkins ethics committee approved of the study and advised Farfel on how to twist the grant language so the study would sound like it was of therapeutic benefit to the kids in order to avoid federal scrutiny. It was actually John Hopkin’s Kennedy Krieger Institute that was named in the lawsuit.
Justice Cathell went right through the roof on this case, writing a searing 103 page opinion and comparing Farfel’s experiments to the Nazis’ typhus experiments at Buchenwald . You can get a copy of the opinion here.
Here’s the way the Court described what Farfel and Co did:
“The same researchers had completed a prior study on abatement and partial abatement methods that indicated that lead dust remained and/or returned to abated houses over a period of time. In an article reporting on that study, the very same researchers said: ‘Exposure to lead-bearing dust is particularly hazardous for children because hand-to-mouth activity is recognized as a major route of entry of lead into the body and because absorption of lead is inversely related to particule size.’ Mark R. Farfel & J. Julian Chisolm, Health and Environmental Outcomes of Traditional and Modified Practices for Abatement of Residential Lead-Based Paint, 80 American Journal of Public Health 1240, 1243 (1990). After publishing this report, the researchers began the present research project in which children were encouraged to reside in households where the possibility of lead dust was known to the researcher to be likely, so that the lead dust content of their [i.e., the children’s] blood could be compared with the level of lead dust in the houses at periodic intervals over a two-year period.”
That opinion was written in 2001. Farfel is back in the news today. The AP is reporting [Link] that in a 2005 paper Farfel describes how he and a bunch of his Johns Hopkins buddies went back into a poor Baltimore community and sludged the yards children play in with composted BS. Farfel and a side kick co-author from the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, an agronomist named Rufus Chaney, claimed that by sludging the ground they actually did the kids who play on it a favor because the BS – we’re talking processed human feces here – binds a number of heavy metals, including lead, and so – walla!! – when the kids eat it, the metals should pass through the kids’ digestive tracts without being absorbed. Of course, that’s nothing more than a fat guess of a hypothesis. And they test the hypothesis by exposing the kids to whatever is in the BS.
Great modus operandi – expose children to toxins in the form of lead dust or BS and see what happens. We’ll call this the “John Hopkins Protocol.” Poor children work best because their folks are the least likely to figure out what’s going on, or complain, or sue. According to the AP article: “Chaney said the Baltimore neighborhoods were chosen because they were within an economically depressed area qualifying for tax incentives. He acknowledged the families were not told there have been some safety disputes and health complaints over sludge.”
Right, Rufus, you call that informed consent when you don’t tell them that there could be active pharmaceuticals, drug resistant microbes or at least microbial drug resistant DNA (see my last post), myriad organic toxins, and a whole smorgasbord of heavy metals in the BS? There is not a single word in Farfel’s abstract and summary about analyzing the BS for toxins before they exposed the children to it. Link to the abstract. [I haven’t been able to find the full article.] Nor, as the AP points out, is there any indication of any medical follow up on the children.
Another John Hopkins researcher, Thomas Burke, who was chairman of the famous 2002 National Academy of Sciences sludge review pointed out for the AP that even if sludge does bind lead in the dirt, the sludge could still release the heavy metals for absorption when it hits the acidic environment of the stomach.
More great BS research from the EPA. What we’ve come to expect, I guess. Hopefully, somebody will get their skivvies sued off on this one, too, which is also what we’ve come to expect.