FDA Anthrax vaccine documents show pentagon lied
Mon, 11 Oct 2004
“A former Dover Air Force Base commander says military officials used his troops as guinea pigs in illegal medical experiments under the government’s controversial anthrax vaccination program.”
“Government officials have acknowledged that the Department of Defense secretly tested squalene on human beings in Thailand. [Col. Felix] Grieder believes they did the same in Dover.”
The Delaware News Journal has uncovered documents and videos that reveal that Pentagon officials lied; that US troops were given an experimental concoction of anthrax vaccine laced with squalene. Many soldiers have suffered permanent harm as a result.
“After some of his troops in their 20s and 30s began developing arthritis, neurological problems, memory loss and incapacitating migraine headaches, Col. Felix Grieder took a drastic step. In 1999, he halted the vaccination program in Dover, a move he said ended his military career. The decorated Air Force colonel has spent the past five years trying to discover the truth about the vaccine program in Dover, where he commanded 4,000 troops. ‘In my opinion, there was illegal medical experimentation going on,’ says Grieder, who lives in Texas.”
“Dover is now ground zero in the controversy because troops there were injected with anthrax vaccine containing squalene, a fat-like substance that occurs naturally in the body. Squalene boosts a vaccine’s effect, but some scientists say injecting even trace amounts of it into the body can cause serious illness.”
As the Journal reports, “Even before squalene was discovered in the anthrax vaccine administered at Dover Air Force Base, the vaccine was suspected as a cause of health problems.”
Dozens of Web sites and support groups are dedicated to linking autoimmune disorders to the shot. The vaccine has been the subject of several scientific studies that conclude it could be a factor in making soldiers sick.
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Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
Ex-DAFB commander says troops used as guinea pigs
Military denies that illness of pilots, crew caused by squalene
By LEE WILLIAMS and HIRAN RATNAYAKE
The News Journal
Despite the official denials, some military physicians have concluded that the Dover vaccine harmed some servicemen and servicewomen. The medical records of a Dover pilot, who feared for his career if his name was used in this story, show that several military physicians linked his advanced arthritis to the vaccine. “The symptoms began after anthrax immunization, and are in line of duty,” the records say. The pilot’s records also reveal the presence of an antigen associated with autoimmune disorders.
Several members of the military brought their concerns to Congress in July 1999, during testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform’s Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations.
Capt. Michelle Piel was a C-5 Galaxy pilot stationed at Dover. “All my life I’ve wanted to fly and serve my country to the best of my ability,” she told the subcommittee. Piel became ill after her first two injections with the vaccine. Her arm grew numb, the right side of her head filled with fluid, and she was grounded because of dizziness.
She testified the dizziness progressed to the point where she was unable to drive, read or concentrate. She was so tired she slept most of the day, and was unable to keep food down. A total of 12 military and civilian physicians were unable to diagnose her illness. Months later, when a lump was removed from her breast, her symptoms worsened.
“There is no way that I know of to prove that the anthrax vaccine caused any of this,” she told the subcommittee. “All I can say is that I became uncharacteristically ill after I started taking the anthrax shots.” Lt. Richard Rovet worked at Dover’s Flight Medicine Clinic, where his duties included nursing, case management and patient advocacy. Rovet described to the subcommittee the adverse reactions to the vaccine he had seen in patients at the clinic.
The symptoms included memory impairment, dizziness, ringing in the ears, joint pain, muscle pain, numbness in various parts of the body, miscarriage, cardiac problems, swollen testicles, hypothyroidism, chills, fever, rashes, photosensitivity and constant fatigue. “We have been told time after time that the vaccine is entirely safe, yet there is a disparity between what we are told and what we are seeing,” Rovet said.
The military’s anthrax Web site claims the vaccine is safe, because “The Food and Drug Administration individually approves each lot before release.”
But FDA documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the FDA no longer tests the lots for squalene.
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