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The Plutonium Files: MIT scientists fed radioactive oatmeal to schoolboys to see what would happen

Between 1946 and 1953, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducted a horrifying experiment in which schoolboys were fed radioactive oatmeal, simply to support marketing claims made by the Quaker Oats company!

The study was performed on more than 100 boys, many of whom were wards of the state and had been falsely declared “mentally retarded,” according to The New York Times. The boys were recruited to join the “Fernald Science Club.” They – and their parents, for boys who had parental guardians – were told that they were taking part in a study “in connection with the [MIT] nutrition department” aimed at “helping to improve the nutrition of our children.”

Children irradiated for … advertising?

In order to make the study sound appealing, the boys and their guardians were told they would be given “a quart of milk daily… taken to a baseball game, to the beach, and to some outside dinners,” and that they would “enjoy it greatly.”

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