Human test subjects-chemical/biological agents

50 U.S. Code § 1520a - Restrictions on use of human subjects for testing of chemical or biological agents

I’m pretty sure most people here are aware of the above law which appears to be saying something to the effect that "We are NOW putting restrictions on using U.S. citizens as (lab rats, guinea pigs?) from what were previously doing (with unrestricted use of said subjects?).

I’m trying to find out what the previous law(s) were that allowed for unrestricted use of citizens was.

The Govt. does have a long history of using, unwittingly and unaware, U.S. citizens as guinea pigs and lab rats very often with deleterious effects. Was there any prior laws policies on the books that allowed for much wider use that is now allowed?

In general so long as there is no law against something it is presumed to be legal. Although I would think testing chemical/biological weapons on someone would be covered by other laws sort of like if a gun manufacturer tried to “test” their weapons on human subjects.

The previous law was repealed in 1997 (and had been implemented in 1977).

Some discussion here (especially as it relates to the chemtrails conspiracy theory) https://www.metabunk.org/why-was-the-us-code-changed-to-make-human-experimentation-illegal-chemtrails.t1108/

There is some speculation it was related to experiments during the Gulf War that had been uncovered.

Well, I’ve never heard of it before. It seems to impose a general prohibition on using civilian test subjects without their consent.

50 USC 1520a replaced a set of restrictions that were codified in 50 USC 1520. The earlier restrictions didn’t require individuals to consent to the testing but rather allowed the tests to be conducted if Congress and local government officials received 30 days’ notice. The earlier restrictions, reproduced below, were adopted in 1977.

I haven’t looked into what prompted the change.

In a democracy, if it is not prohibited, it is permitted.

In a dictatorship, if it is not prohibited, it is compulsory.