More Than 100 Children Were Fed Radioactive Oatmeal To Improve Sales

More than 100 boys, classified as mentally challenged, at the Fernald School in Waltham, Mass., were fed cereal containing radioactive iron and calcium in the 1940s and 1950s. The diet was part of an experiment to prove how quickly nutrients in Quaker oatmeal can travel throughout the human body.

Quaker Oat officials wanted to match the advertising claims of their competitor, Cream of Wheat. 


A $60 million lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court asserting that the children were tricked into participating in the experiments. It was stated that the exposure was about equal to natural radiation people experience from the environment yearly. The university also noted that a state panel in 1994 determined that the students had suffered no significant health effects from the experiment.

The panel stated that the students’ civil rights had been violated.

Quaker Oats continues to deny that it played a large role in the experiments since they only donated the cereal and provided a small research grant.

What value did anyone involved place in the life of the children? With no health care and, for some, no parents, what chance did those children have living with possible health challenges?

What are your children eating and do you think corporations are now more trustworthy?

Categories: Horrific Science ExperimentsTags:


  1. With all of these examples and somehow we still believe in scientists and billionaires.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Sooo, just because there were no (discernable) ill effects, we should just ignore/forget the whole thing?

    Uhh, No!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think any corporation is ever truly accountable to their customers, not as long as their are stakeholders who benefit by ignoring the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “. . . do you think corporations are now more trustworthy?”

    Since corporations are run by individuals, the trustworthiness of any business reflects the trustworthiness of its individual stakeholders. So the question becomes: do you think individuals are now more trustworthy? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some are and some are not and some are sometimes and not other times

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly!

        “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few.” –Wendell Phillips

        Liked by 1 person

        • “The many raise the few without love or commitment to life, ever questioning why they are the way they are.” -Lander7

          Liked by 1 person

          • Maybe. Children with supportive and loving parents usually fair better at life than those with dysfunctional families. But how do we account for the black sheep raised in a nurturing environment? Or functional adults who come from broken homes?

            Perhaps some people are genetically predisposed to committing acts of evil regardless of their environmental influences.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree but then the question is…. Why do we tolerate them to do so?

              How do the few control the many?

              With permission absent of consequence

              Liked by 1 person

              • I don’t think it’s a question of toleration so much as our penchant to trust the word of experts, and the fact that many who aspire to positions of power and prestige are skilled manipulators. Plus we seldom find out about their wrongdoings until well after the fact. In this particular case the researchers kept everyone in the dark about the full nature of the tests being conducted and the parents had little reason to suspect their children would be harmed by their caregivers, much in the same way that no one suspected the sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests.


                • In both cases, once known, there was no real outrage past that of direct family. The people responsible weren’t labeled as the worst people ever and flogged by public outrage. The full power of the justice system wasn’t unleashed on them. Think about how much of a reaction America had when a sports player refused to stand during the national anthem (taking to one knee) and compare it to this.

                  Something deeper is broken, it’s not skilled manipulation.

                  Just saying


                  • Ok, but I just found out about this after reading your post, and in all liklihood the people who were involved are now either really old or deceased. Moreover, according to the information I could glean from Wikipedia, one class-action suit led to improvemed care and conditions across all state facilities and a second class-action suit awarded the victims a $1.85 million settlement from MIT and Quaker. So who should I/we be outraged against? And how would my/our belated outrage prevent future occurrences of clandestine experiments by others?

                    The reality is that the only person you have complete control over is yourself (and perhaps those within my immediate sphere of influence).

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • You Asked — “So who should I/we be outraged against? ”

                      My Answer — Easy, those who fed radioactive cereal to children.

                      You Asked — “And how would my/our belated outrage prevent future occurrences of clandestine experiments by others?”

                      My Answer — The same way outrage ended slavery… with persistence, sacrifice and stamina.

                      Anger can be helpful:


                    • As per my previous comment, the researchers are now either very old (>87) or they’re dead; and the victims were compensated even though it was determined they had suffered no harm. So there is nothing more that can be done; nor would it change what happened. And I’m not sure how outrage would prevent another Dr. Kevorkian or Gosnell from performing unethical medical procedures under the radar. For an honest man no laws are necessary and for a dishonest man no laws are sufficient.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • For an honest man laws are invisible and for a dishonest man they are punishment.

                      The point of outrage is not to stop what has already been done but rather to train society to have less tolerance for dangerous behavior to occur in the future. It’s a process that can work if everyone is on board like in a community that has a home buyers association. They collectively do not tolerate certain behavior and crush anyone who steps out of line on several levels.


                    • It all sounds good in theory, but decades of outrage have done little to curb the corruption of public officials in Chicago, LA, New York, Miami, Washington, Baltimore and other U.S. cities. And it’s a 100% given that somewhere someone or some government agency is violating the Geneva convention.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • It’s a mixed bag,constant outrage has changed many aspects of life, especially for people of color. I would also note that environmental outrage continues to change some communities but at the same time very little in others.

                      The more outrage the better so I promote it, anything less is just sheepism.


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