Origin of AIDS and the role of USA
1970’s Hearings before Congress regarding Synthetic biological agents with no natural or artificial immunity.
There are two things about the biological agent field I would like to mention. One is the possibility of technological surprise. Molecular biology is a field that is advancing very rapidly and eminent biologists believe that within a period of 5 to 10 years it would be possible to produce a synthetic biological agent, an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no natural immunity could have been acquired.
Mr. Sikes. Are we doing any work in that field?
Dr. MacArthur. We are not.
Mr. Sikes.. Why not? Lack of money or lack of interest?
Dr. MacArthur. Certainly not lack of interest
Mr. Sikes. Would you provide for our records information on what would be required, what the advantages of such a program would be.
the time and the cost involved?
Dr. MacArthur. We will be very happy to.
The dramatic progress being made in the field of molecular biology led us to investigate the relevance of this field of science to biological warfare. A small group of experts considered this matter and provided the following observations:
All biological agents up to the present time are representatives of naturally occurring disease. and are thus known by scientists throughout the world. They are easily available to qualified scientists for research. either for offensive or defensive purposes.
Within the next 5 to 10 years. it would probably be possible to make a new infective microorganism which could differ in certain important aspects from any known disease-causing organisms. Most important of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.
A research program to explore the feasibility of this could be completed in approximately 6 years at the total cost of $10 million
It would be very difficult to establish such a program. Molecular biology is a relatively new science. There are not many highly competent scientists in the field, almost all are in university laboratories. and they are generally adequately supported from sources other than DOD(department of defense). However, it was considered possible to initiate an adequate program through the National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council (NAS–NRC).
It is a highly controversial issue and there are many who believe such a research should not be undertaken lest is lead to yet another method of massive killing of large population.
HEARINGS before a SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Subcommittee on Department of Defense Appropriations
George H. Mahon, Texas, Chairman
Robert L.F. Sikes, Florida, Glenard P. Lipscomb, California, Jamie D. Whitten, Mississippi, William E. Minshall, Ohio, George W. Andrews, Alabama, John J. Rhodes, Arizona, Daniel J. Flood, Pennsylvania Glenn R. Davis, Wisconsin, John M. Slack, West Virginia, Joseph P. Addabbo, New York, Frank E. Evans, Colorado.
Budget and Financial Management
Budget for Secretarial Activities
Chamical and Biological Warfare
Defense Installations and Procurement
Defense Intelligence Agency
Operation and Maintence, Defense Agencies
Procurement Defense Agencies
Safeguard Ballistic Missle Defense System
Testimony of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover
Testimony of Members of Congress and Other
Individuals and Organizations
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
35-262 WASHINGTON : 1969
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 1969