[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

MIT, Quaker Oats Settle Radiation Lawsuit

Just in case it wasn't posted previously.


MIT, Quaker Oats Settle Radiation Lawsuit
Copyright 1997 by Reuters ** via ClariNet ** / Wed, 31 Dec 1997 8:52:57 PST
BOSTON (Reuters) - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Quaker Oats
Co. agreed to pay $1.85 million to former students of a Massachusetts school
used in radiation experiments without their knowledge 40 to 50 years ago,
officials said Wednesday.
The prestigious university will pay the bulk of the class-action settlement,
approved by the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts Tuesday, for the
controversial nutrition studies, MIT officials said.
Members of the science club at the Fernald School in Waltham, Mass., were
fed, without their knowledge, breakfast cereal and iron supplements
contaminated with minute amounts of radiation between 1945 and 1956.
Quaker Oats provided a grant to fund the research into how iron and calcium
are absorbed by the human digestive system, MIT said.
``The exposures to radiation were approximately equal to the amount of
natural background radiation we all receive from the environment each
year,'' MIT said in a statement. ``Both a Commonwealth of Massachusetts and
a federal investigation into of the studies found no discernible effects on
health of study participants.''
At least 90 boys, aged 10 to 16, were used in the experiments, said Jeffrey
Petrucelly, an attorney for the former students. They have only found out in
the last two or three years about the radiation doses, he said.
``MIT and the school informed the parents the children would be involved in
a science club learning about nutrition and science in general. In fact,
they were experimented on with radioactive isotopes,'' Petrucelly said.
Legal advertisements have been placed in newspapers across the state to
contact former classmates of the settlement.
MIT said it believes its researchers acted properly under existing standards
of conduct. But the school agreed to the settlement to avoid the expense and
diversion of a lengthy legal battle.

George J. Vargo, Ph.D., CHP
509-371-9014 (fax)