Tags: U.K. | Probes | Chemical | Tests | Soldiers

U.K. Probes Chemical Tests on Soldiers

Wednesday, 02 May 2001 12:00 AM

The government said the investigation would examine human experiments at the Porton Down testing station on England's Salisbury Plain that military sources said have been going on since 1916. The review was authorized after a number of former servicemen said thousands of soldiers had been tricked into volunteering as "guinea pigs" for tests involving experiments with nerve gas, mustard gas and LSD.

"Most of the men believed they were going to Porton Down for the purpose of common cold research and were in fact gassed with sarin," said Alan Care, a lawyer representing a group of the former servicemen. Sarin is a deadly nerve gas and was used by a religious cult in the attack on Japan's subway system in which 12 people died in 1995.

In confirming the review would go ahead despite the government's denial of the soldiers' claims, Junior Defense Minister Lewis Moonie told Parliament, "There has never been an opportunity for the (Ministry of Defense) to conduct a full and thorough search of all the sources."

Moonie indicated the investigation would center on the Porton Down archives, "which contain unpublished technical papers, the experimental books and other contemporary material."

He said the review would cover the period from 1939 to 1989 and that Professor Ian Kennedy of the School of Public Policy at London's University College would head the investigation. Moonie promised the results would be published.

Care applauded the government's action but questioned the procedure. "The publications should be looked at," he said, "but they really won't take the matter any further."

"What really needs to be looked at are the individual cases," said Care, who added that he would continue to press for an independent inquiry into the former servicemen's claims.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The government said the investigation would examine human experiments at the Porton Down testing station on England's Salisbury Plain that military sources said have been going on since 1916. The review was authorized after a number of former servicemen said thousands of...
U.K.,Probes,Chemical,Tests,Soldiers
296
2001-00-02
Wednesday, 02 May 2001 12:00 AM
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