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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ch. 7. A Subterranean Channel of Secret-Keeping: the fluoride deception by Christopher Bryson from archive.org

Ch. 7. A Subterranean Channel of Secret-Keeping: the fluoride deception by Christopher Bryson from archive.org
A Subterranean Channel of  Secret-Keeping     AFTER THE WAR Harold Hodge became the leading figure promoting  water fluoridation in the United States and around the world, while the  University of Rochester served as a kind of queen bee for cold war-era  dentistry, hatching a generation of dental-school researchers who were  unanimous in support of a central role for fluoride in their profession.   If you look at the credentials of the people who have been impor tant in  academic dentistry, you will find that Hodge s interests here at Rochester  were responsible for many of those people getting their expertise, noted  the toxicologist Paul Morrow, who worked alongside Hodge for almost  twenty years. The fluoridation of public water supplies was the crowning  glory of Harold Hodges career. He pioneered [fluoridation] very  adamantly," Morrow pointed out. "That was one of the most difficult  things he did. There was an extraordinary resistance to the use of rat  poison in public water supplies.
https://www.blogger.com/null  Today, however, revelations that Hodge concealed wartime infor  mation about fluoride's central nervous system effects in atomic workers,  secretly studied the health of the subjects of the water fluoridation  experiment at Newburgh, New York, on behalf of the Manhattan Project,  and gave information on fluoride safety to the U.S. Congress that later  proved inaccurate (see chapter ii), all call into question Hodge s agenda as  the grand architect of Americas great postwar fluoride experiment.   Even during his lifetime, researchers had begun to examine his career  more closely. In 1979 a journalist, John Marks, reported that     92     CHAPTER SEVEN     Hodge had helped the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its search  for a mind-control drug. In his book, The Search for the Manchurian  Candidate, Marks described how the CIA had given the hallucinogenic  drug LSD to unsuspecting Americans. He wrote that Hodge and his  Rochester research team had been pathfinders in that research program,  figuring out a way to radioactively tag LSD.'   I knew he had something to do with the CIA, but that is all, recalls the  scientist and historian J. Newell Stannard, who worked alongside Hodge at  Rochester in '947   Marks may have only scratched the surface of Dr. Hodge s work for the  CIA. The journalist filed Freedom of Information Act requests and  received scores of heavily redacted files. Although the names of people and  institutions have mostly been blacked out, Marks identified several of the  files as referring to CIA contract work at the University of Rochester. The  letters, reports, and accounting statements make chilling reading. They are  the bureaucratic account of a laboratory and its scientists eagerly hunting  for chemicals to selectively affect the central nervous system and to  produce symptoms even more bizarre than LSD.   The CIA studied fluoride as a potential mind-controlling substance. A  March 16, 1966, memo from the TSD (most likely Technical Services  Division) titled Behavioral Control Materials and Advanced Research  reports on the disabling effects of dinitro-fluoride derivatives of acetic  acid that are currently undergoing clinical tests.'"   For many, Harold Hodge s image of respectability collapsed completely  in the late 1990s. The reporter Eileen Welsome found a once-classified  memo that implicated Hodge in perhaps the most diabolical human  experiments ever conducted in the United States. On September 5, 1945, he  attended a University of Rochester planning meeting with several other  scientists. Their purpose: to discuss the research "protocol" for injecting  plutonium into unsuspecting and uninformed patients at the University of  Rochester's Strong Memorial Hospital.' A second AEC document,  reporting on the experiments, thanks Harold Hodge ... [who] participated  in the early planning of the work and frequently made general and specific  suggestions which contributed much to the success of the program. ' In the  1990s the federal government settled a lawsuit with     A SUBTERRANEAN CHANNEL OF SECRET-KEEPING     93     family members of those plutonium experiment victims, paying  approximately $400,000 to each family.'   Hodge oversaw additional injections in Rochester hospital patients  during the late 19405, to find out how much uranium would produce  "injury.' In the fall and winter of that year seven people would be injected  with uranium in the Metabolic Unit at Rochester s Strong Memorial  Hospital. A tunnel connecting the Army Annex to the Hospital permitted  the uranium and plutonium to be transported to the ward in secrecy.   On October I, 1946, "a young white, unmarried female, aged 24 was  "injected with 584 micrograms of uranium." She was "essentially normal  except for chronic undernutrition which probably resulted from emotional  maladjustments, the report stated. In early 1947 a sixty-one-year-old white  male alcoholic was admitted to the hospital with a suspected gastric lesion.  Although the patient did not appear ill, the scientists noted, as he had no  home, he willingly agreed to enter the Metabolic Unit. Like the other  patients, the man did not know he was the subject of an experiment. Nor  was there any attempt to argue that the uranium would have any therapeutic  effect on his condition. Injections were explicitly given to find the dose  of ... uranium which will produce minimal injury to the human kidney, a  summary noted. The Rochester scientists believed that a human subject  should tolerate 70 micrograms of uranium per kilogram of body weight.  Accordingly, on January to, the same cooperative ... short, gray-haired  man was injected with 71 micrograms of uranium per kilogram.'   In the 1950s Dr. Hodge was a key figure in the Boston Project. In this  series of experiments, Hodge arranged for Dr. William Sweet of the  Massachusetts General Hospital to inject the highest possible dose" of  various uranium compounds into patients hospitalized with brain cancer.  The researchers wanted to learn the quantity of uranium to which atomic  workers could safely be exposed.'   In 1995 a former senior government physicist, Karl Z. Morgan,  described Hodge during these cold war years as a particular enthu siast of  human experiments. Morgan had visited Hodges laboratory and years later  told government investigators that Dr. Hodge had been one of the  Rochester scientists itching, you might say, to get closer to Homo  Sapiens. 9     94     CHAPTER SEVEN     The Trapezius Squeeze   TWO FORMER ROCHESTER students, Judith and James Mac-Gregor,  were able to get a close look at the unique influence Hodge exerted over the  U.S. medical establishment. The pair had followed Hodge to San Francisco  in 1969, when the sixty-five-year-old became professor emeritus at the  University of San Francisco Medical School. His office door was  frequently open, and they listened in awe as the old man clutched the  telephone, reaching across the country, making decisions on faculty  appointments at medical schools, on the composition of scientific boards  and panels, and on the various national committees that set standards for  chemical exposure in the  workplace. 10   "He would be talking to leaders all over the country. Herb Stok-inger  [the former head of occupational medicine at PHS], people that chaired  public health committees for the government would be asking for  comments or recommendations on appointments on senior committees,  and things like that, stated Judith MacGregor. He was just incredible at  getting things done, she added.   A great persuader, noted J. Newell Stannard, who worked with Hodge  in the 1940s at the University of Rochester. He had people that would be  grateful to do most anything if Harold asked them to do it.   While Hodge wielded the cold steel of political power in the medical  world, he generally did so by staving behind the scenes. According to  colleagues, his influence was subtle and covert. "He was supremely apt at  getting difficult decisions made in the way that he thought they should be  without ever raising his voice or appearing to be confrontational,"  remarked James MacGregor, now a senior official at the U.S. Food and  Drug Administration. "He was perhaps the world's master at that," he  added.   He could leave the fewest ripples on the water, said Judith  Mac-Gregor. More than a decade after his death, she can still feel the old  man s fingers slipping around her shoulder and neck, her resolve buckling.  She called this Hodges trapezius squeeze — his signature greeting, which  involved taking hold of the shoulder muscle called the trapezius and  slowly tightening his fingers, all the while looking into your eyes.  MacGregor called Hodge Grandpapa behind his back — but she was  powerless at the old mans touch. He would     A SUBTERRANEAN CHANNEL OF SECRET- KEEPING     95     kind of squeeze your muscle a little, she remembered. It was like a  handshake. You knew that when he gave you the trapezius squeeze he  was going to ask for something. And you knew that you were going to do  it. You couldnt refuse the guy.   Dr. Harold Hodge, it now seems, performed a trapezius squeeze on us  all.   "A Whole Song and Dance"   PROBING HODGES SECRET fluoride work at the University of  Rochester is difficult. Hodge died in 1990. His archive remains closed.  And even the multimillion dollar resources of a U.S. Presidential  Committee in the 1990S could not breach Rochester s cold war defenses,  according to the attorney Dan Guttman, a top investigator in that effort.   Guttman has a quick sense of humor and a sharp mind. He needed both  in 1994 for his new job as executive director of President Bill Clintons  Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE, also  known as the Clinton Radiation Commission). The attorney had gone to  law school with Hillary Clinton. He was tapped by the president to  investigate the hundreds of radiation experiments that scientists had  performed on unsuspecting U.S. citizens during the cold war — including  some on pregnant women, retarded children, and prisoners."   Perhaps the most notorious were the experiments described above with  plutonium and uranium that Hodge had helped to plan at the University of  Rochester. Guttman therefore wanted access to the University's cold  war-era files. He had attended the school as an undergraduate in the 1960s  but was "stunned" to learn that his alma mater had been "the Grand  Central Station of bio-medical research" for the Manhattan Project.' The  former student approached Rochester's President Thomas A. Jackson at an  alumni gathering. On President Clintons behalf he asked for Jackson s c  ooperation in obtaining documents from the university archives. Jackson  seemed completely uninterested, Guttman recalled. I was very disturbed  by the University s reaction which was, for practical Purposes, obstructing  fact finding."   It was not just the University of Rochester who stiffed the U.S.  Presidents Human Radiation Commission. Guttman found himself     96     CHAPTER SEVEN     sitting at a table with Pentagon bureaucrats and lawyers, demanding secret  military documents about medical experiments performed on U.S. citizens.  At first the Defense Department seemed helpful, Guttman explained; but  when the Commission stumbled upon the existence of an inner-sanctum  military organization — which appeared to have been in charge of cold  war-era human experiments by both military and civilian agencies — the  Pentagon suddenly froze. Guttman remembers a specific meeting with top  military officials. He asked for all existing records of the Joint Panel on the  Medical Aspects of Atomic Warfare, as the secret group had been known.  The Joint Panel had included representatives of the CIA, the military, the  PHS, the NIH, and the AEC.   The reaction of the Defense people was, We are not supposed to give  you that," Guttman recalled. We said Excuse us? This was the whole  point [of the Clinton Radiation Commission]! Guttman asked for the  documents nicely. He asked in writing. He asked for six months. He was  stiffed. It was stunning, he said. All the documents were allegedly  destroyed, shredded, he says he was finally told. We went through a  whole song and dance.   Guttman hoped that the Joint Panel documents would shed light on  so-called cut-out or work for others arrangements, in which the true  sponsor of a medical research project is concealed. For example, Guttman  explained, is the CIA having its work done by some innocuous entity that  is then funded by some other agency? We were hoping that some of the  work for others might have become more apparent through the documents  of this interagency group. ( Dr. Harold Hodges work for the CIA at  Rochester had been done using precisely such a cut-out arrangement,  according to the journalist John Marks. The Geschickter Fund for Medical  Research — a Washington, DC, foundation sympathetic to the CIA — had  nominally provided Hodge funds, although money secretly came from the  government intelligence agency.)   The shredding of public documents about human experiments and  military involvement with civilian health agencies during the cold war left  Guttman scratching his head. You ask as a citizen, what was that about?  he said. But the Clinton Radiation Commission was able to make a historic  discovery. Guttman s team learned that documents had been classified  during the cold war, not just to     A SUBTERRANEAN CHANNEL OF SECRET-KEEPING     97     protect secrets from the Russians, but also to hide medical information  from U.S. families. When the Radiation Commission got started,  Guttman explained, people thought that [the government] kept too  many secrets but that was for national security reasons. What we  discovered was that there was a subterranean channel of  secret-keeping, where those on the inside knew that this was not  national security, and could not be kept secret for national security  reasons, and they had a whole other category, embarrassment to the  government, resulting damage to the programs, or liability to the  government and its contractors.   Censorship of the health claims of injured atomic workers, and of  medical reports produced by bomb program scientists, was performed  by the Insurance Branch and by the Public Relations section of the  AEC and the Manhattan Project." Guttman s team found explicit  instructions to medical censors, written by the AEC s medical advisor  at Oak Ridge. They are worth citing at length:   There are a large number of papers which do not violate  security, but do cause considerable concern to the  Atomic Energy Commission Insurance Branch and may  well compromise the public prestige and best interests of  the Commission. Papers referring to levels of soil and  water contamination surrounding Atomic Energy  Commission installations, idle speculation on the future  genetic effects of radiation and papers dealing with  potential process hazards to employees are definitely  prejudicial to the best interests of the government. Every  such release is reflected in an increase in insurance  claims, increased difficulty in labor relations and  adverse public sentiment. Following consultation with  the Atomic Energy Commission Insurance Branch, the  following declassification criteria appears desirable. If  specific locations or activities of the Atomic Energy  Commission and/or its contractors are closely associated  with statements and information which would invite or  tend to encourage claims against the Atomic Energy  Commission or its contractor such portions of articles to  be published should be reworded or deleted.     98     CHAPTER SEVEN     The effective establishment of this policy necessitates review  by the Atomic Energy Commission Insurance Branch, as well  as by the Medical Division, prior to declassification."   Guttman was baffled by what he discovered. Harold Hodge and his  Rochester team had been given the job of monitoring workers' health  across the entire bomb-program complex — collecting and measuring  fluoride, uranium, and other toxic chemicals in the workers' urine — and  acting as a repository for their complete medical records." It had been a  massive undertaking. Tens of thousands of men and women were  employed in the factories making the atomic bomb. Rochester and DuPont  each acquired a new IBM punch-card tabulating machine, a forerunner of  the computer, to tabulate and analyze the data. Dan Guttman discovered  "boxes" of this raw information. But something was missing. The big  unanswered question" about the Rochester data, Guttman explained, was  the absence of any epidemiological analysis of worker health.   What was happening with all that worker safety data that was going to  Rochester, and what were they doing with it?" wondered Guttman. "I was  really hoping we would find more than just lots of charts, [that] we would  find somebody analyzing this stuff. Rochester was an arm of the  government, so there should have been some summary, something [like a  letter to the AEC stating]: Dear Head of the Division of Biology and  Medicine, this is what we are finding.' Where is all that stuff?" Guttman  asked. "Rochester was extremely uncooperative."   Guttman's committee was asked to uncover information about  human-radiation experiments. It had not asked questions about fluoride,  however. Was it possible the team had missed other human experiments  performed by the Manhattan Project and the AEC?   "Sure," Guttman told me. "On fluorine I would not be surprised if there  were missing experiments. I would be surprised if there were missing  radiation experiments, but fluorine, I wouldn't be surprised."   The University of Rochester did perform human experiments using  fluoride. We may never know exactly how many experiments,     A SUBTERRANEAN CHANNEL OF SECRET- KEEPING 99     nor the souls experimented upon. Nevertheless, a paper trail of  now-yellowing documents once again leads back to the "Manhattan  Annex" and the passageway to the Strong Memorial Hospital. Rochester  scientists gave fluoride to "patients having kidney diseases'" to determine  how much fluoride their damaged kidneys could excrete.' And in a single,  cryptic fragment of a declassified Rochester document, a chemical  compound, "boron trifluoride," is listed as being "inhaled" for thirty days.  Scientists took measurements, including dental studies and weight  response. One measure ment — item "H" — reads simply: "Human excretion  ofF.'"   Postscript: The New World   AMONIH AFTER the Hiroshima bombing, in September 1945 the Danish  health expert Kaj Roholm made his first trip to the United States. He  wanted to meet America's fluoride researchers and to study wartime  advances in American medicine.' Top doctors regarded him highly. The  Rockefeller Foundation offered financial support and arranged  introductions. Roholm traveled widely along the East Coast, visiting  hospitals and the medical schools at Yale, Harvard, and John's Hopkins.  After the horror and deprivation of wartime Europe, the Dane found the  country "inspiring and hospitable, though he did note that the absence of  public -health care made him think that it would be a catastrophe to get sick  in the United States." 20   At the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Roholm met  with the senior dental officials Frank J. McClure and H. Trendley Dean.  There they discussed the fluoride problem." Before the war the American  Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture had warned  of the health risk from small amounts of fluorides, and the American  Dental Association had editorialized against the idea of water  fluoridation. 21 But in his meetings Roholm discovered that the years of  conflict had wrought a profound change in Washington's views. "In the  United States it is common to associate fluoride as a less toxic element than  previously known," he reported. 2 '-   In 1944 for example, the Department of Agriculture had increased its  maximum accepted contaminant level for fluoride pesticides from 1.43  milligrams of fluoride per kilogram, to 7 mgs F per kgm.     100     CHAPTER SEVEN     And in the water-fluoridation experiments involving thousands of U.S.  citizens, fluoride was being added to public- water supplies in Newburgh,  New York, and Grand Rapids, Michigan."   Roholm saw the danger. He examined X-rays the PHS had taken from a  region of the United States where there were high levels of natural fluoride  in the water. The black-and-white images looked familiar. As he had  observed in the men and women poisoned by fluoride in the Copenhagen  cryolite factory, Roholm detected numerous cases of typical  osteosclerosis in the X-rays. The promise of better teeth appeared to be  worth a great deal to U.S. officials, the Dane mused with dry  understatement.   While the therapeutic concentration for this outcome [better teeth] is  close to the toxic limit," Roholm stated, "this, however, has not prevented  the Americans from performing several studies.   The mood was that of great optimism in Bethesda, he wrote. It will be  very interesting to see the results within the next five to ten years. '   Roholm returned to Denmark. Although he did not know it, his days  were numbered. He was appointed professor of public hygiene at the  University of Copenhagen on January I, 1948. In February he gave his  inauguration lecture to students on the history of Danish public-health  measures. Although his pithy style made the material come alive,  observers noted that the professor looked pale.' Roholms first lecture as a  professor would be his last; stomach cancer had begun its deadly march.  One month later Roholm entered the hospital.   The disease tore through his strong body like a wildfire. Each day his  best friend, Georg Brun, visited him in the Copenhagen hospital.  Throughout that grim March of 1948, as the scientist lay close to death at  the age of forty-six, he seemed unable to accept that his life was almost  over. Both men avoided the truth. I tried to say to him that he would be all  right," Brun said. "He wouldn't accept anything else. Roholm died of  cancer of the large intestine on March 29, 1948. He left a wife and two  young children.   Kaj Eli Roholm's death was a tragedy for his family and friends and for  the twentieth century — for all who rely on scientists to tell them the truth  about the chemicals they handle in the workplace and the risk from  industrial pollution.     8     Robert Kehoe and the  Kettering Laboratory   

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