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Breaking News: Secret US military testing of radiological materials on poor and minority communities

In a story that is breaking right now, Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor, a sociologist in St. Louis. MO (US), has introduced evidence that “secret military tests conducted during the Cold War targeted poor and minority communities for exposure to what is likely radiological material.”

In an article yesterday, commenting on Dr. Martino-Taylor’s research, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said:  “Relying heavily on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Martino-Taylor identifies connections between participants in St. Louis testing and scientists who took part in wartime efforts to build the atomic bomb.”

GJEP’s Board Chair Orin Langelle and  Executive Director, Anne Petermann interviewed Dr. Martino-Taylor while they were in St. Louis, last week.

–The GJEP Team

By Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann

During an interview we conducted last week in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor gave us a long description of research she had conducted into a major military cover up of the use of U.S. citizens as test subjects for military experiments related to the Cold War.

Dr. Martino-Taylor told us that specifically, her research identifies a coalition of medical researchers that grew out of the Manhattan Project, which she refers to as the Manhattan-Rochester Coalition.  This coalition conducted various secret radiological tests around the nation.  The group was involved in previously known “injection” and “ingestion” human-subject studies that exposed unwitting victims to radioactive material such as plutonium and strontium-90.  Dr. Martino-Taylor’s research demonstrates that St. Louis open-air dispersion studies carried out in the 1950s and 1960s are likely the realization of this group’s intention to conduct an inhalation study of radiological material in an urban area.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch further said Sunday:  “Martino-Taylor was a skilled researcher before working toward her doctorate, investigating cases for a St. Louis law firm.  The facts she assembled on the military project and conclusions she reached go well beyond anything published earlier.”

Dr. Martino-Taylor told us, “ This new research also reveals that a powdered substance used in the St. Louis tests sometimes identified in military documents, was in part, produced by U.S. Radium.  U.S. Radium is the company infamous for exposure of workers to fatal doses of radioactivity resulting from the use of radioactive zinc sulfide powdered paint.  Many of these workers died from systemic illnesses caused by inhalation of radium dust at U.S. Radium.”

Moreover, there is evidence that the material that was sprayed in St. Louis contained particles of such a size as to result in maximum absorption deep into the lungs.

During the tests, St. Louis residents were told by officials and through media reports that the government was testing a “smoke screen” that might protect the city from aerial observation during attack.  Documents show that the St. Louis tests targeted what was characterized by officials as “a densely populated slum district.”  Census data further shows that areas targeted for spraying included a high percentage of young children, poor, and minority residents.  Areas of the tests included the Desoto-Carr area and the famous Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project, a dense series of high-rise buildings comprised of a majority black population where 70% children were under the age of twelve.

Additional evidence also strongly suggests radiological components to the tests that the Army conducted in St. Louis.

KMOX (CBS) radio reported this morning:  Martino-Taylor says some of the key players in the cover-up were also members of the Manhattan Atomic Bomb Project and involved in other radiological testing across the United States at the time. “This was against all military guidelines of the day, against all ethical guidelines, against all international codes such as the Nuremberg Code.”

Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor first publicly presented her findings at the International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology Social Justice and Democratization in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The Forum ran from August 1-4, 2012.

She will be presenting this research for the first time in the U.S. Tuesday, September 25th at a colloquium at St. Louis Community College in St. Louis, MO.

For access to Dr. Martino-Taylor’s doctorate dissertation:

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Earth Audio Podcast: Sacajawea “Saki” Hall on KPFK Sojourner Truth Show, June 21, 2012

Interview with Sacajawea “Saki” Hall, the membership coordinator at the US Human Rights Network, in Rio de Janeiro with the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, on KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show, June 21, 2012.

Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Segment interviews every Thursday–as well as daily interviews during international gatherings such as the Peoples’ Summit in Rio.

Click here to listen/download

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Rio+20