back to article I was a government guinea pig, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

What will the US government owe the hundreds of thousands of Americans it will swab, prick, track and trace over the next 21 years, in the largest children's health study ever? So far, the answer from the National Children's Study is "not much". The study, a joint effort led by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the …


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  1. Solomon Grundy


    Is a small town just outside Washington DC - they renamed it Chantilly. No but how bad would that suck "what do you do" - "uhm, well I'm a meconium analyst with NIH".

    How can they return the test results if all the personal identifying info has been removed?

    Volunteering for this would be crazy. They'd never let you go, they'd always be wanting more blood or something - which is fucking creepy. Weird govt people would be showing up at your house and school asking the kid questions/taking samples for the rest of their school careers. Some crazy lab guys would kidnap the kid to get more if you declined. (the last one's a joke, I hope)

    They'd change the privacy rules someday and some genetic doctor would call you up and say "hey, you are going to die from <disease> unless you purchase our patented cure". You know they'll sell the info. They always do.

    While I realize some good might come from a study like this - however at this time our governments can't be trusted to not fuck the 100,000 volunteers over.

  2. Anton Channing

    Personally Identifiable Information

    Surely the DNA from the blood sample is personally identifiable?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can't wait to hear how enraged Alex Jones is over this.

  4. /\/\j17

    Age of emancipation?

    don't know exactly what the age of emancipation is in the US but "...asking them to commit themselves and their kids to 21 years of interviews, physical exams and lab tests." sounds doomed to fail - as soon as the children that doctors have been treating like pin cusions all their lives reach that age I'd expect "a fall of in participation rates"...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Article title

    "Gargantuan US child health study - all take?"

    Anybody else disappointed that the article wasn't about a study on Giant Babies?

    Anon cause of the work thing.

  6. StopthePropaganda

    what did you think you were gonna get

    with the Democrats' promise of "free universal" health care? Were y'all stupid enough to think it was truly free? All you get is Government having vested interest in controlling more of your life, mandating what you can eat, the risks you can take, anything that some "study" shows can improve your health, and therefore reduce the Government Expense to provide it. This also means of course, government mandated and controlled health monitoring.

    because Government is soooo good at such things and never c*cks it up due to bureaucracy and power struggles, and never, ever does things to control the citizenry and elevate itself to Godhood.

    "The Gubmint is Mother, the Gubmint is Father" paraphrase a line from a much better sci-fi series from a decade ago than the modern Galactica will ever be.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Surely he's kidding

    "People will look back on this and say, 'My kid was in the National Children's Study,' and that will be a point of pride for that family,'" said Dr Donald Dudley.

    Surely they will be saying "My kid was a guinea pig for a fascist government and is now in a camp to be controlled since they "found" something in their genes."

    Sterilized, purified, put on a shelf like a specimen. Oh yeah, that's a real point of pride in my family.

  8. T. Harrell

    All take, no give?

    People are scared of their children growing up with severe asthma, autism, diabetes, and everything else.. How, pray tell, are we going to figure out the basis for these diseases without studies? People want hard science, solid factual evidence, and effective treatments, well, studies like this are how those things happen. Trials that follow infants to age 18 or 21 are also not a new thing, either. This is simply a bit larger than any previous study has been.

  9. Jeremy
    Dead Vulture

    Autism is a disease?

    Shit, better get meself off to the hospital then...

  10. Ishkandar

    WOW !!

    "People will look back on this and say, 'My kid was in the National Children's Study,' and that will be a point of pride for that family,'" said Dr Donald Dudley,

    Then they add,"See, he can prove it because he now has two heads instead of one !"

  11. Peter Lenz


    Bitter much?

  12. John Imrie
    Thumb Down

    Viva Gattaca

    Nuf said

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    But don't expect any healthcare

    Big US Gov and especialy the Pharma industry want / need this data. Unfortunately it is not for making life better for everyone but more for marketing data.

    Anyone still remember all those anacid commercials until an independant non-big-pharma-backed Lab confirmed it was a simple bacterial infection which the drug pushers already knew about?

    They are not in the business of keeping you healthy but of treating illness. There is no profit in a cure.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "modest monetary incentives for completing each visit"

    Seems like this could be a somewhat skewed sampling of the population.

  15. spam
    Thumb Down

    Waste of time

    If the study does not produce results supporting their pre-conceived agendas and prejudices the EPA will bury it or twist the results until it does.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Free fortune cookie with every blood draw...

    ... because this will probably end up like the free blood typing they do in Chinese prisons.

    I doubt that the nice men will show up in the afternoon and cheerily ask "Would you like to donate an organ today?". They'll come at night, armed with a warrant or mumble of some kind and your kid will be history.

    It's all for a good cause though...somewhere a mother inside the charmed circle will see her dying child returned to her sound as the pound, and sordid, random kidney harvests from inebriated swingers will be a thing of the past.

  17. Steve Evans

    I can help with the obesity...

    Stop eating so much!

    Nobody needs a 48oz steak, 4 pints of cola etc.

    Hell I couldn't eat a 48oz steak even if I wanted to!

  18. JC

    @ Steve Evans

    It's not a big steak that's the problem, it's loads of greasy carbs. You have it a bit backwards that if those overweight primarily ate high protein and some vegetables, they'd retain the muscle mass needed to burn stored fat and ingest enough vitamins to keep a healthy metabolism.

  19. Alfazed

    less science more Frankenstien monsters

    As for the comments of T. Harrell, scientific study this sure is not.

    How can you chose to leave out members of certain sectors of the community (the poor and ethnic groups, who we know suffer more illness than the well off folks in society) and still call it scientific ? You certainly can't cull any meaningful data about health of the USA, just those members of society stupid enough to be scared into giving samples. (The educated (?) and the well off).

    Sheesh, Americans ! Oh yeah, and Brits !


  20. foo_bar_baz

    @ stopthepropaganda

    I bet the industry loves how you've swallowed their propaganda. It's them you should be paranoid about.

    Demanding a service in return for your tax $'s is not the same as wanting to be nannied.

    In my country we have free health care but you can choose to use private practices, in which case the gov't reimburses you for a proportion of the cost. Always. Unlike your HMOs.

    When the next big medical bill hits yout I bet you'll be grateful your taxes are going to more important things like subsidizing tax cuts for the HMO owner millionaires. Who you made rich with your health insurance payments in the first place.

  21. Sandra Greer
    Gates Horns

    If the U.S. offered free health care...

    in return for longitudinal data, the entire country (except for a few gun-totin' paranoids) would enroll in a heartbeat. Then we would have a shot (ahem) at both decent health care AND decently broad-based data.

    Ask anyone who has kids. The price of the alleged freedom to buy "insurance" for a family is way ridiculous, even if it is offered. And why shouldn't parents be included? Not to mention everyone else.

    You have to understand, though, that phony health insurance employs a whole lot of people, and the politicians don't want to see them unemployed. They are SO much more valuable than steelworkers, autoworkers, clothing workers, IT people, you name it...

    I love my country but I don't understand the people sometimes.

  22. Jason W.

    Good info...

    Mark, as usual, great article...

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