September 25, 2002

Reagan Administration Sold Germs for Warfare to Iraq

The Buffalo News reports that testimony in a congressional hearing eight years ago revealed that American research companies with the approval of two administrations sold cultures for West Nile Virus, E. coli, anthrax and botulism and other strains that could be used for biological warfare to Iraq.

According to the article by Douglas Turner, "Between 1985 and 1989, the Senate testimony shows, Iraq received at least 72 U.S. shipments of clones, germs and chemicals ranging from substances that could destroy wheat crops, give children and animals the bone-deforming disease rickets, to a nerve gas rated a million times more lethal than Sarin."

The agents were sent under license of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The testimony on these shipments came out in hearings of the Senate Banking Committee in 1994 who were looking into causes for 100,000 Gulf War Veterans who suffered from illnesses they attributed to their tour of duty during the Gulf War.

Senator Donald Riegle of Michigan, who was one of the heads of the congressional committee is quoted in the article as raising the question of how to protect American service people who are sent to Iraq for Bush's new war.

-- By David Cogswell

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