Undue Risk

Jonathan D. Moreno, Author, Moreno, Author, Paul R. Josephson, Author W.H. Freeman & Company $24.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7167-3142-9
Between 1949 and 1969, the U.S. Army conducted over 200 ""field tests"" as part of its biological warfare research program, releasing infectious bacterial agents in cities across the U.S. without informing residents of the exposed areas, Moreno reveals in this chilling, meticulously documented casebook. A professor of biomedical ethics at the University of Virginia, Moreno (Arguing Euthanasia) served on a Clinton--appointed advisory committee that blew the lid off the government's secret radiation experiments from WWII through the mid-1970s, which involved the injection of unwitting human volunteers with plutonium, uranium and other radioactive substances. His disturbing new book partly overlaps with Eileen Welsome's The Plutonium Files (Forecasts, Aug. 2), though Moreno's survey extends further--from Walter Reed's turn-of-the-century yellow fever research to the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study; from army and air force mind control experiments (1950--1975) involving ingestion of LSD and incapacitating chemicals by thousands of subjects, often without their consent, to the compulsory vaccination of Gulf War GIs with botulism toxin vaccine not approved by the FDA that may have contributed to ""Gulf war syndrome."" While Moreno duly excoriates the excesses and horrors, his overarching thesis is that human military experimentation is unavoidable, and he commends the army's current infectious-agent research program at Fort Detrick, Md., as a model for future ""ethical"" research. Some readers may welcome his coolly detached chronicle as a complement to Welsome's scathing, far more powerful expos . Agent, Betsy Amster; 3-city author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1999
Release date: 09/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 371 pages - 978-0-415-92835-9
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-1-138-14617-4
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