Re: Govt Tests on Civilians LEGAL!

Ian Goddard (
Tue, 26 Jan 1999 21:49:17 -0500

GOOD NEWS! I've learned that Section 1520 of Title 50 Chapter 23 was REPEALED on November 18, 1997! However, the Cornell Law School on-line library has NOT updated the U.S. Code since then, even though it says at their site that "Updated information will be added here within 24 hours of its availability from the House," suggesting that shortly after laws are passed or repealed they'll be posted, but in fact over 9,000 hours have passed so far. The problem is that the House hasn't made it available.

No search engine I've used can find the fact that 1520 was repealed. All on-line government archives I've found list the old law as law. However, I discovered that 1520 was repealed thanks to someone who accessed a pay-for- use on-line law resource. Section 1520 was replaced with 1520(a), which was sent to me (quoted below in full).

Many webpages of private researchers cite Section 1520, and Art Bell mentioned it last evening. Many of those who are interested in 1520 are not aware of its repeal, so please send this message to anyone not aware of such!

Interesting that the now-repealed Section 1520 of Title 50 (which allowed chemical warfare testing on "civilian populations") was enacted under Jimmy Carter's term in 1977 (not 1996), which seems interesting to me in light of the fact that Carter has such a humanitarian image.

Here's the replacement law. My only problem with it is that the ONLY entity it prohibits from conducting tests on civilian populations is the Secretary of the Defense, yet bio-warfare-related laws often cite the President as the ultimate conductor of actions, yet the new law does not place any prohibition on the President or any other federal official except the Secretary of the Defense.

S 1520. Repealed. Pub L. 105-85, Div. A, Title X, S 1078(g), Nov. 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 1916

S 1520a. Restriction on the use of human subjects for testing of chemical or biological agents

(a) Prohibited activities

The Secretary of Defense may not conduct (directly or by contract)-
(1) any test or experiment involving the use of a chemical agent or
biological agent on a civilian population; or

(2) any other testing of a chemical agent or biological agent on human

(b) Exceptions

Subject to subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this section, the prohibition in subsection (a) of this section does not apply to a test or experiment carried out for any of the following purposes:

(1) Any peaceful purpose that is related to a medical, therapeutic,
pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial, or research activity.

(2) Any purpose that is directly related to protection against toxic
chemicals or biological weapons and agents.

(3) Any law enforcement purpose, including any purpose related to riot

(c) Informed consent required

The Secretary of Defense may conduct a test or experiment described in subsection (b) of this section only if informed consent to the testing was obtained from each human subject in advance of the testing on that subject.

(d) Prior notice to Congress

Not later than 30 days after the date of final approval within the Department of Defense of plans for any experiment or study to be conducted by the Department of Defense (whether directly or under contract) involving the use of human subjects for the testing of a chemical agent or a biological agent, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives a report setting forth a full accounting of those plans, and the experiment or study may then be conducted only after the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date such report is received by those committees.

(e) Biological agent defined

In this section, the term "biological agent" means any micro-organism (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiac, or protozoa), pathogen, or infectious substance, and any naturally occurring, bioengineered, or synthesized component of any such micro-organism, pathogen, or infectious substance, whatever its origin or method of production, that is capable of causing--

(1) death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an
animal, a plant, or another living organism;

(2) deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or materials of
any kind; or

(3) deleterious alteration of the environment.