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US Researchers and Pharmaceutical Companies Conducting Human Experimentation in Africa

Farid Zakaria
Published: Monday 7 November 2011
“The new report details human experiments led by US researchers and drug companies on Africans who are typically undereducated, poor, and lack full understanding of their rights.”
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A new policy brief faults prominent institutions and drug companies like Pfizer, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and Population Council, for their involvement in unethical and illegal human experimentation in Africa.

The report is titled “Non-Consensual Research in Africa: The Outsourcing of Tuskegee” in reference to the illegal human experiment conducted in Tuskegee, Alabama, between 1932 and 1972 by the US Public Health Service. In that experiment, some 600 impoverished African-American men were observed in a study on the progression of untreated syphilis. Some of the men were intentionally infected with the disease and all of them were denied the cure. Regrettably, the report notes, no one was held accountable for this crime against humanity.

The new report details human experiments led by US researchers and drug companies on Africans who are typically undereducated, poor, and lack full understanding of their rights. The human subjects often are led to believe that they are receiving medical treatment from governmental health services or health ministries.

These practices hearken back to the appalling experiments carried out by US researchers in Guatemala in the 1940s where hundreds of Guatemalans were deliberately infected with sexually transmitted diseases without information or consent. President Obama formally apologized to Guatemala for these experiments last year.

Human experimentation in the United States is regulated by the Office of Research Integrity and various Ethical Research Institutional Boards. Many African countries lack these institutions. Even when they exist, they lack independence and are controlled by corrupt government officials.

In one experiment on HIV sponsored by Gilead Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and operated by Family Health International, Cameroonian subjects were given details about the experiment in English even though many spoke only French and were illiterate. Five women were allegedly infected with HIV in the experiment but were not given antiretroviral drugs.

In another experiment in Nigeria led by Pfizer physicians, researchers injected children with an antibiotic called Trovan during a meningitis outbreak without providing their families with informed consent forms that fully disclose the side effects and purpose of the experiment. Eleven children died and many were left paralyzed.

In South Africa and Namibia, mothers with HIV/AIDS are routinely sterilized without their informed consent. Countries that perform these procedures are known to receive funding in the form of grants and incentives from USAID and other aid organizations.

The report explains that US researchers and drug companies violate the laws and protocols of the Declaration at Helsinki (1964) and the Belmont Report which provide ethical guidelines on human experimentation.

Moreover, the results of unethical and fraudulent experiments are laundered in the United States and Europe through the peer-review system. Many of the “peers” who review these experiments are themselves involved in the same unethical conduct. Others are concerned about the possibility of professional alienation if they speak out.

The authors make several demands so that these practices are ended. They include holding congressional hearings so that the matter is brought to the public’s attention and enacting new legislation to ensure that drugs are not approved by the FDA unless the research on which they are based comply with ethical research principles.



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Ppl like you get all the

Ppl like you get all the brains. I just get to say tahkns for he answer.

I learned about this (again)

I learned about this (again) in Psychology class this semester. The most commonly supplied birth control has now been shown to have actually lowered resistance to AIDS, thus increasing infection rates despite use of prophylactics.Not sure this is Bill or Melinda Gate's fault for having donated, but they should be looking into how their wealth has been hijacked to oppress the very people they intended to help.

Mr. Zarkaria,What can we--we

Mr. Zarkaria,What can we--we all who are learning about this horrible abuse of Africans--do to stop it? Please advise me. Thanks for your great article.

The ACTUAL population of

The ACTUAL population of Africa in 2010 was 1,030 million, so the US Census Bureau projection was TOO LOW by FIFTY THREE MILLION, or 5.4%. If the population projection for 2050 is also low by 5.4% (an extremely conservative estimate), then rather than 1,786 million in 2050, there will be 1,882 million, an increase of 852.9 million in only 40 years, and 1,079.3 million in the first half of the 21st Century ALONE Or it might be even higher, as this appears to be an asymptotic grown rate, not a linear one as in the US and China..

A simple projection of fifty years of population grown in Africa indicates that the population in 2010 should have been 814.4 million. So the census Bureau projection of 977.4 million was actually higher than expected, particularly since many of their projections included [allegedly] decreasing populations of some African countries due to AIDS. For the ACTUAL population of Africa to be 1,030 million (52.6 million higher than the Census Bureau projection and 215.6 million higher than a continuation of the historic African population growth), the effects of AIDS (if any) must have been to ACCELERATE the African population growth, not to decrease it.

That's not an impossible scenario. If there was a wide-spread fear that your own race would die out due to an epidemic, this might cause you to increase an already out of control reproduction rate. But this seems VERY unlikely. The most likely scenario is that AIDS in Africa was invented in order to obfuscate the very real danger of an out of control African population explosion, or to cause gullible world citizens to flood Africa with money, food, and other aid, which actually accelerated the problem.

But that's the good news. The bad news is that Africa's population growth rate is asymptotic, our experts at the US Census Bureau seem to be unable to figure this out, and the REAL population of Africa actually could reach 3 BILLION within half a century. While India's population is also growing asymptotically, Africa could still overtake India by 2030. And while India predicts that their population will be larger than China by 2050, this actually could happen as early as 2030.

To MBHASTINGS, Thank you for

To MBHASTINGS, Thank you for your informative comment. I was involved in research administration at an American private hospital system and was proud that the Institutional Review Board was fiercely independent and performed rigorous reviews before approving research on human subjects. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, even in the U.S.

As a human rights activist,

As a human rights activist, I'd like to caution readers from taking this report at face value. There are certainly abuses out there. Unfortunately, this report does an abysmal job of documenting abuses and generates much more heat than light. It either refers to cases that were already investigated and resolved, or gives no citations for its allegations. The report's allegation of US participation in forced sterilization in Namibia and South Africa, for example (which isn't actually about human experimentation), is documented only with one citation - an article about Peru from 2000. There are documented reports of forced sterilization, but while the report insinuates US involvement, they cite no evidence that USAID funded providers committed these crimes. (See for example forced and coerced sterilization of HIV positive women in Namibia 09.pdf).There are serious human rights abuses every day. Fortunately, there are bodies and organizations set up to document and combat such abuses. Unfortunately, perhaps well-meaning but poorly documented reports such as these do nothing to help the situation.

What about the eperiments on

What about the eperiments on the american public each and every day from thalidimide to abilify the phamicutical industry is a mad scientist gone awry ,do no harm...{suicidal ideations could be a side affect} More money means we can buy more politicians and make more money .No population human or animal is safe from our pharm-overlords.

So how can they be stopped?

So how can they be stopped? We are more worried about is Justin Beavers the daddy and what next movie star is going to jail then to stop experiementation on unsuspecting people.

The Drug companies DID NOT

The Drug companies DID NOT CREATE THE AIDS EPIDEMIC. First off, it is an HIV Epidemic. You have no clue what the difference is, I am sure. Aids denialism is counterproductive and completely bogus. SHAME ON YOU for trying to cast doubt on something that has been proven a long time ago. HIV is a virus that does kill. I am an HIV/STD Health Educator and YOU ARE WRONG.

YOU hypocrites or we

YOU hypocrites or we hypocrites? interesting, revealing shift there,

add to that, what makes atrocities committed on citizens in any way ok? abomination all of it!

These types of unethical

These types of unethical actions have been going on forever in foreign lands and here in the U.S. They tested radiation affects on individuals in the 1950's, psych medications in the 1960's, devastating individuals lives. In 2005 the EPA allowed pesticide testing on institutionalized children, those in orphanages and handicapped facilities and children of the very poor who were told that the tests would not hurt their children. They all got payoffs for their involvement (the institutions and uninformed parents). This was done in disreguard of human rights or the health of vulnerable children and most in state agencies. The EPA and other agencies state that chemical studies on any children outside the U.S. are acceptable. Now doesn't that make one proud and trusting of what we are told. This still goes on in the US even with those "oversight groups".

The United States of America

The United States of America is so involved in this and so many other controversial, sick, twisted things that I don't know how this would even be remotely surprising. What I am surprised about is that Americans seem not to bother to read about it or use their eyes to see what a corrupt system they live under.

Sick. Very sick. Give this

Sick. Very sick. Give this disease and its carriers a toxic enema.

Sick. Very sick. Give this

Sick. Very sick. Give this disease and its carriers a toxic enema.

Uhhh, duh! Ever heard of

Uhhh, duh! Ever heard of AIDS?

Some of these unethical

Some of these unethical studies include the Johns Hopkins HIV circumcision studies done in Africa funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There were three such studies. Men were duped and bribed into enrolling, and the HIV positive men were not informed of their status, which put them and their partners at risk.

Corporations are

Corporations are experimenting on everyone, every day. They pollute our food, personal care products, cleaning products, laundry products, etc. with thousands of chemicals that are carcinogenic, neurotoxic, endocrine disrupting, respiratory disturbing, cause organ toxicity, depress and harm immune system function, etc. We are ALL being experimented on. Every minute of every day. The corporations rule the world today. It's all about money and power. And most politicians are bought and paid for by these companies. There has to be an extreme movement for change is this country. No baby steps.

You are so right. It is time

You are so right. It is time for a change.

This abuse demonstrates that

This abuse demonstrates that the capitalist system as it is structured today is completely and morally bankrupt. Until when will the degradation of humanity continue? The great humanist discourse that gave birth to democarcies all over the world is now dead, instead we have created a system that places no value on human life, dignity or morality. What will it take to transform the capitalist-democratic system into a social-democracy that places people before profits?

This is happening in the

This is happening in the United States???? we allowed this? how can this be?how inhumane - how can American remain so arrogant with this in our history?Its one thing to do tests on citizens, but selecting the poor, the minority, the ignorant --- and doing tests, but not treating the poor souls once infected???how on earth can those in power live with themselves? This is barbaric.We got away with it with the native americans, and its still going on.....such a tragedy - we deserve what we get.We do all this under the cover of In God We Trust hypocrites!!!

...will the occupy wall

...will the occupy wall street movement take up this issue and demand that from now on drug companies do their testing on their own staff and shareholders beginning with their CEO's

Boris Badenov's picture

These Drug companies created

These Drug companies created the AIDS epidemic. Their the ones that inherited Richard (Tricky Dick) Nixon's BIO Weapons programs. Nixon never ended the BIO Weapons program, he privatized it! Just ask the man who sold BIO Weapons to Saddam Hussein, Donald Rumsfeld. Anything for a buck huh Donny boy.

Sickening, despicable,

Sickening, despicable, contact Bill and Melinda gates now.

Wake up America!

Wake up America! Corporations now rule the country! Elect people who cannot be bought.

They own the world. We need

They own the world. We need to take it back, this is so disgusting I can't begin to fathom any worse abuse. But knowing they have absolutely no morals what so ever there is probably even worse atrocities happening.In addition to this .

Why are animals more

Why are animals more important than humans to some people?

#1) They are more trustworthy

#1) They are more trustworthy than most people
#2) they do not kill for sport
#3) They add to our eco system rather than destroy it
#4) As for domestic animals, they can have a more caring attitude for those around them...They will love you no matter what. They are noted to calm the individual that they are with, in nursing homes, with a dying patient. They are used as companions for health issues that they alert their owner to prior to signs and symptoms of a pending crisis. Guide dogs. Monkeys that help the disabled. They do this out of love, not for pay or self elevation. These are only a few reasons, but why would they be less important, we are all living, we all have feelings, we all express love and caring and we all live on this earth together.

Whoever lets this matter

Whoever lets this matter stand invites secret experimentation on himself or herself.

Q: Why do human individuals have fewer rights and protections than human organizations?

A: That's a good question. Next question?

humans do have protection and

humans do have protection and rights in human experimentation . And individuals in human research study are suppose to take a course and be certified that they understand the rights of humans. We also have three basics papers that participants are to sign; a consent form that explains what is being done, why it is being done, the fact that they can withdraw at any time ; and who they can complain to. Also a participants rights form. Now as stated that is what is to be done . There are always unethical and evil people in every thing we do. We have to help educate people regarding their rights.

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