Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments


Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments

The Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments was established in 1994 to investigate questions of the record of the United States government with respect to human radiation experiments [http://www.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/exec_order.html executive order]

The special committee was created by President Clinton. Jonathan D. Moreno was a senior staff member of the committee and later wrote the book Undue Risk Secret State Experiments on Humans. cite book
last =Moreno
first =Jonathan D.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =1999
title =Undue Risk Secret State Experiments on Humans
publisher =Freeman
location =
id =ISBN 0716731428
]

The thousand page document was released in October 1995 at a White House ceremony.Moreno, p. XI]

Background

The scandal first came to public attention in a newsletter called "Science Trends" in 1976 and in "Mother Jones" in 1981. "Mother Jones" reporter Howard Rosenburg used the FOIA to gather hundreds of documents to investigate total radiation studies which were done at the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies (now the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education). The "Mother Jones" article triggered a hearing before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Science and Technology Committee. Tennessee Congressman Al Gore chaired the hearing. Gore's subcommittee report stated that the radiation experiments were "satisfactory, but not perfect." cite journal
first =Eric
last =Alterman
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =2000
month =February 11
title =The Plutonium Files
journal =The Nation
volume =
issue =
pages =
id =
url =http://www.commondreams.org/views/021100-104.htm
] cite book
last =Welsome
first =Eileen
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =2000
title =The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War
publisher =Delta
location =
id =ISBN 0385319541
p. 410, 412, 544, "Plutonium Experiment" Science Trends, February 23, 1976, p. 128; Howard Rosenburg, Informed Consent, "Mother Jones", September-October 1981, p. 21-44 ] cite journal
first =
last =
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
month =
title =National Security Archive
journal =
volume =
issue =
pages =
id =
url = http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/dir/mstreet/commeet/meet4/brief4.gfr/tab_o/br4o3.txt
1981 Hearings on the Human Total Body Irradiation Program at Oak Ridge before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Science and Technology Committee, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. (Sept. 23, 1981) (commonly referred to as the "Gore Hearing").]

In November 1986 a report by the staff of Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey was released, entitled American Nuclear Guinea Pigs: three decades of radiation experiments on U.S. citizens. The Markey report stated there were thirty-one human radiation experiments involving nearly 700 people. The report received only cursory media coverage. Markey urged the Department of Energy to make every effort to find the experimental subjects and compensate them for damages. But these instructions were ignored by DOE officials, who figured if they stone walled long enough, the controversy would blow over. DOE officials knew who conducted the experiments, and the names of some of the subjects. After the report was released, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush resisted opening investigations of the radiation experiments. Welsome p. 414-415, 544] Moreno, p. X]

The report found that between 1945 and 1947 eighteen hospital patients were injected with plutonium. The doctors selected patients likely to die in the near future. Despite the doctors' prognoses, several lived for decades after. cite book
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
title =Military Medical Ethics, Volume 2
publisher =DIANE Publishing
location =
id =ISBN 1428910662
p. 525]

The American Nuclear Guinea Pigs report stated:

Investigative report

Triggering the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments was a series of Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reports by Eileen Welsome in "The Albuquerque Tribune",Moreno, p. IX, XI] entitled The Plutonium Files. This report was different than Markey's, because Welsome revealed the names of the people injected with plutonium. cite journal
first =MacPherson
last =Karen
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =1999
month =November 21
title ='The Plutonium Files' by Eileen Welsome ‘Plutonium Files’ sheds light on inhuman experiment
journal =Pittsburgh Post Gazette
volume =
issue =
pages =
id =
url =http://www.post-gazette.com/books/reviews/19991121review372.asp
] Welsome originally discovered the experiments while sifting through some documents at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque in the spring of 1987. What got her curiosity was a report on radioactive animal carcasses. The report identified the victims only by code names.

Notes

ee also

*Chemical warfare#United States Senate Report

External links

* [http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/ Material at George Washington University] Material from the National Security Archive.
* [http://www.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/report.html Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments - Final Report]
* [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/dir/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt American Nuclear Guinea Pigs: Three Decades of Radiation Experiments on U.S. Citizens]


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