The (Israeli) Defense Ministry has recognized a former soldier who participated in the army’s experiments on an anthrax vaccine as a disabled veteran after he developed Crohn’s disease. For two years, it denied similar recognition to another veteran who has the same disease, which causes severe bowel infection (sic), and participated in the same experiments, until a court overruled that decision last month. The ministry said the cases differed, as the first soldier contracted the disease during the experiment and the second only three years later. Altogether, 716 soldiers took part in the trials from 1998-2006, and many later said they were pressured to “volunteer.” Many have also since developed medical problems.
Well guess what? US recipients of anthrax vaccine also have statistically significant raised rates of Crohn’s disease, according to Defense Medical Surveillance System data provided to the Institute of Medicine in 2001. Is anyone surprised? Yet every US soldier being deployed still receives multiple anthrax vaccinations (the initial course is 5 doses over 18 months). The original excuse was that Saddam might use anthrax (we gave him some: strain Vollum 1B) on our troops. Saddam is gone, but the combination of inertia, and a vaccine manufacturer that knows how to grease palms, continues to disable vulnerable members of the US military.