Between 1945–1947, 820 poor pregnant Caucasian women were given radioactive iron at Vanderbilt University.
It was funded by the U.S. Public Health Service, the Washington-based Nutrition Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Monsanto.
The researchers worked with the Tennessee State Department of Health and did not inform the women that they were part of an experiment.
The radiation portion of the experiment was designed to study the absorption of iron during pregnancy under the direction of Dr. Paul Hahn.
A number of malignancies were found among the exposed offspring and four cases of cancer.
The state Health Department agreed to pay $100,000 to the women who were fed radioactive iron but denied wrongdoing in partially sponsoring the study.