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Medical panel: Anthrax experiments on IDF soldiers were unjustified

Posted Aug 13 2009 8:02pm
Another fascinating article on the Israeli anthrax vaccine experiments by Yossi Melman in Haaretz. Excerpts follow. It seems no one in Israel would take any responsibility for the experiment, which is being laid at the feet of (assassinated) former Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin -- but no documentary evidence was given to the Israeli Medical Association committee invesetigating the experiment to support the putative association with Rabin.

In the US, I have been unable to learn who has been behind approval of the anthrax vaccine for mass use, when there exists no experimental evidence for human efficacy, the safety profile is awful, and the need has never been demonstrated.
Following a three-month legal battle in Israel's High Court of Justice, the report was finally approved for publication Wednesday...

The experiments were carried out in light of what was then defined as the "strategic threat of a surprise biological attack facing Israel. However, the report said that it was not clear who the decision makers were who determined the vaccine's necessity...

The Chairman of the medical committee, Dr. Reuven Porat, told Haaretz that the panel was not presented with any official evidence indicating that either the government, the defense minister of the IDF chief of staff had authorized the development, testing, or production of the vaccine...

The report insinuates that it was improper motivation that prompted the launch of the experiments, but it does not specify what these motivations were, saying that the panel "could not make out the true inspiration behind them..."

The report reveals that even while the experiment was taking place Israel already had a stock of vaccines, a fact which further raised the concern that the experiment wasn't necessary; that it was carried out as a result of external pressure."An accelerated effort to produce large quantities of the vaccine was underway a year prior to the experiment, and by the time the experiments were launched, Israel had enough vaccines to cover the civilian concerns," the report said...

Israel and the IDF accepted the principles of the Helsinki Accords, declaring many times that they meet their standards. In reality, however, the report states that "the military Helsinki committee failed to fulfill its duties in 'Omer 2' in every one of the points examined by the report."

"No scientific justification was found for the experiment, scientific background was lacking, the experiment's design and execution did not suit its goals, and no result would have justified those goals. Also, conventional guidelines were not followed, risks and possible side effects were not thoroughly investigated, and a follow-up mechanism to keep track of participating soldiers was not set up....."

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