Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
(202) 785-3801


May 1999 Vanity Fair Article Reveals Results Of Recent Medical Study; Nuremberg Code Violations Alleged


The May 1999 issue of Vanity Fair, which will be available next week, reveals the results of a study that found the presence of squalene, a highly toxic adjuvant that does not have FDA approval, in the blood of those military personnel who have received the anthrax vaccine. The study, which was performed by a Tennessee molecular biologist and immunologists at Tulane University Medical School, examined the blood of approximately 350 persons including Gulf War veterans and current servicemembers. One subject group of those suffering from Gulf War Syndrome, each of whom had received the anthrax vaccine, tested 100% positive for squalene.

The article also revealed the existence of previously unknown attempts by the Pentagon to subcontract the manufacture of the anthrax vaccine at locations unlicensed and unregulated by the FDA. This story follows the issuance of a General Accounting Office report issued on March 29, 1999, concluding that the Pentagon should determine if squalene is a contributing factor in Gulf War Syndrome.

"If proven true, the Defense Department has committed conduct similar in nature to that which we condemned the Nazis from performing 50 years ago. It would mean our troops have been used as guinea pigs," said Mark S. Zaid, Executive Director of The James Madison Project (JMP). Zaid added that the presence of a non-FDA approved adjuvant in the anthrax vaccine would change the vaccine to being "experimental", thereby requiring the military to obtain
voluntary consent before inoculation. JMP is actively exploring filing a class action injunction against the Department of Defense for an immediate cessation of the anthrax vaccination program, which is currently mandatory.

The Defense Department has implemented plans to inoculate all 2.4 million active duty personnel against anthrax at an estimated cost of $130 million. The immunization series calls for six injections of the "killed bacteria" vaccine over a period of 18 months, followed by annual booster shots. Vaccinations began in March 1998. The FDA first approved the vaccine for civilian use against incidental infection in 1970. However, concerns have been raised about the vaccine's effectiveness against massive doses of weaponized anthrax anticipated in an intentional biological warfare attack. In addition, the only FDA-approved manufacturer, the Michigan Biologic Products Institute (now BioPort), has been repeatedly cited for quality control problems.

"The Defense Department has openly misled its personnel and the American public on the overall safety of the anthrax vaccine. The evidence unequivocally demonstrates that no information exists concerning the long-term effect of the vaccine on humans, and that the adverse reaction rates are up to seven times greater than approved by the manufacturer and the FDA," said Mr. Zaid. He added that recently obtained internal documents revealed that the Pentagon had determined the current six shot series was "outdated" and "unnecessary", yet still implemented the vaccination program. Mr. Zaid presented his findings at a hearing held before the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations of the Committee on Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 24, 1999.

In April 1998, Mr. Zaid was the first attorney to represent military personnel refusing the vaccine when several sailors onboard the U.S.S. Independence refused to submit to the vaccination. As General Counsel for the non-profit organization Veterans for Integrity in Government, Mr. Zaid also filed an action in June 1998, under the Freedom of Information Act that forced the Defense Department and the military to disclose thousands of pages of documents that were previously unseen. JMP recently represented Airman Jeffrey Bettendorf in his court-martial proceeding, the first involving an anthrax refuser, at Travis Air Force Base based on his refusal to submit to the anthrax vaccine. Currently, JMP represents four Marines who are facing court-martial proceedings at Twenty-Nine Palms in California.

JMP is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing.