The US government has a long and storied history when it comes to unethical testing of biological and chemical substances, particularly on its own people.
It comes as no surprise that they are planning a biological weapons simulation in a small town in Oklahoma, called the Hazards of Dynamic Outdoor Releases (Yes, HODOR). Surprisingly, the substances to be used, at first glance, appear to be non-toxic.
According to Fox News: “In 2018, the department wants to release “non-hazardous, non-toxic” chemicals and biological materials on buildings in the area. They want to see what might happen if a terrorist were to release similar chemicals as a biological weapon, and if buildings would offer residents any kind of protection.“
“The government plans to release genetic, barcoded spores of an insecticide sold under the trade name of Dipel. Dipel is not considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency when handled appropriately, according to an assessment.”
Dipel or Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.) is thought to be harmless to humans, according to Carrie Swadener of the Journal of Pesticide Reform, but its means of reproduction and dispersal marks it as closely related to bacteria that cause food poisoning… and the variety that causes Anthrax.
“Large-scale applications of B.t. can have far-reaching ecological impacts. B.t. can reduce dramatically the number and variety of moth and butterfly species, which in turn impacts birds and mammals that feed on caterpillars. In addition, a number of beneficial insects are adversely impacted by B.t.”
Beyond the certain ecological impact of widespread usage of Dipel, Carrie says B.t.’s impact on people might be more severe than claimed.
“There is evidence suggesting that B.t. is not as benign as the manufacturers would like us to believe, and that care is warranted in its use.”
Further, she points out that there are 800 strains of B.t., all with different levels of toxicity to humans, rodents and insects. This makes it difficult to discuss the exact toxicity of B.t. without disclosing the exact strain used. She summarizes the effects of one of the more commonly used variants of B.t. on humans:
“One case of B.t.k. infection resulted from a farmer splashing a B.t.k. formulation, Dipel, in his eye. The man developed an ulcer on his cornea from which positive B.t.k. cultures were taken. Another man working on a spray program splashed B.t.k. on his face and eyes. He then developed skin irritation, burning, swelling, and redness. B.t.k. was cultured from a sample taken from his eye. Ground-spray applicators using Foray 48B reported symptoms of eye, nose, throat, and respiratory irritation.
“A woman exposed to an B.t.k. formulation as a result of drift went to the hospital due to burning, itching-and swelling of her face and upper chest. She later exhibited a fever, altered consciousness, and suffered seizures. No B.t. was cultured from tissue samples, but her doctor believed that B.t. was the cause of the clinical symptoms.”
A lack of research does not prove a lack of toxicity.
It is important to note that no terrorist has thus far been able to unleash either a chemical or a biological attack on the US. It is impossible to speculate how knowledge of the dispersal patterns of a cloud of weaponized fog might assist any government, beyond perhaps a construction program to fortify important government and military installations.
On an unrelated note, according to the NY Times, the US is running late on its obligation to eliminate its entire declared chemical weapons arsenal, in violation of the “Chemical Weapons Convention”.
“I just got sick to my stomach,” Newkirk resident Dennis Jordan told KOCO in Oklahoma City. “I think if they want to test that stuff, let them go to Los Alamos, you know? I think it’s stupid.”
“You would think you would let your neighbors know,” Kyle Oestmenn, who lives less than a half mile from the now-deserted Chilocco Indian School, said to KOCO News 5, asserting that he had not even been notified of the test, and had to find out about it via social media. “Hopefully they stop by and let me know at least.”
A Change.Org petition to stop the test has already garnered nearly 9000 signatories, just short of the 10,000 target at the time of writing this article. The petition reads:
“Our children go to school barely 1 mile away from Chilocco. We grow the crops in that area that feed our Nation. We are extremely concerned about the effects that unknown testing can have on our groundwater and air quality.”