Darkness in El Dorado Controversy - Archived Document

Internet Source: The Straits Times (Singapore), Pg. 1, September 24, 2000
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US scientists "gambled with human lives'

LONDON -- US scientists killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of South American Indians, in the 60s when they infected them with measles and denied them medical help so as to study the effects of natural selection on primitive societies, according to a book out next month.

The astonishing story of genetic research on humans, which took 10 years to uncover, is expected to shake the world of anthropology to its core, according to Professor Terry Turner of Cornell University, who has read the proofs.

The book accuses James Neel, the geneticist who headed a long-term project to study the Yanomami people of Venezuela in the mid-60s, of using a virulent measles vaccine to spark off an epidemic. Once the epidemic was under way, according to the book, the research team did nothing to help the sick and dying Yanomami, on his explicit order.

The book, Darkness in El Dorado by journalist Patrick Tierney, is due to be published on Oct 1, The Guardian said.