nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

A spoon full of sugar helps the radioactive oatmeal go down

When MIT and Quaker Oats paired up to conduct experiments on unsuspecting young boys

smithsonianmag.com

When Fred Boyce and dozens of other boys joined the Science Club at Fernald State School in 1949, it was more about the perks than the science. Club members scored tickets to Boston Red Sox games, trips off the school grounds, gifts like Mickey Mouse watches and lots of free breakfasts. But Fernald wasn’t an ordinary school, and the free breakfasts from the Science Club weren’t your average bowl of cereal: the boys were being fed Quaker oatmeal laced with radioactive tracers.

28417249735_b7754855af_b

The Fernald State School, originally called The Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded, housed mentally disabled children along with those who had been abandoned by their parents. Conditions at the school were often brutal; staff deprived boys of meals, forced them to do manual labor and abused them. Boyce, who lived there after being abandoned by his family, was eager to join the Science Club. He hoped the scientists, in their positions of authority, might see the mistreatment and put an end to it

We didn’t know anything at the time,” Boyce said of the experiments. “We just thought we were special.” Learning the truth about the club felt like a deep betrayal.

The boys didn’t find out the whole story about their contaminated cereal for another four decades. During a stretch between the late 1940s and early 1950s, Robert Harris, a professor of nutrition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led three different experiments involving 74 Fernald boys, aged 10 to 17. As part of the study, the boys were fed oatmeal and milk laced with radioactive iron and calcium; in another experiment, scientists directly injected the boys with radioactive calcium.

The Fernald students’ experiment was just one among dozens of radiation experiments approved by the Atomic Energy Commission. Between 1945 and 1962, more than 210,000 civilians and GIs were exposed to radiation, often without knowing it. What seems unthinkable in today’s era of ethics review boards and informed consent was standard procedure at the dawning of the Atomic Age.

More here;

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/spoonful-sugar-helps-radioactive-oatmeal-go-down-180962424/

And a recent exploration by some Youtubers of one of the Schools (Fernald state school)

January 29, 2020 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. The cruelty is hard to fathom

    Comment by ken | January 29, 2020 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: