July 9, 1995 in Nation/World

State Will Pay Women Fed Radioactive Iron

Associated Press

The state Health Department has agreed to pay $100,000 to women who were fed radioactive iron during a nutrition study 50 years ago.

The state has denied wrongdoing in partially sponsoring the study from 1945-47 at Vanderbilt University. U.S. District Court Judge John Nixon will consider the agreement, filed Thursday, at a July 20 hearing.

About 150 women, who were pregnant during the experiments, are suing. The iron was traced to learn how it was absorbed by the body.

The Nutrition Foundation, based in Washington, has settled their part of the lawsuit for $125,000.

The lawsuit will continue against Vanderbilt and the Rockefeller Foundation, another sponsor, said the women’s lawyer, Donald Arbitblit. Monsanto Co. also is being sued.

A total of 829 pregnant women were given radioactive iron at Vanderbilt Hospital’s Prenatal Clinic.The women say they were not asked permission and were more likely to get cancer because of the radiation exposure, a claim Vanderbilt has contested.

A study in the 1960s found that three of the children exposed to radiation in the study died of cancer.he lawsuits resulted from revelations about the study from the U.S. Energy Department in December 1993.

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