United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 25, 2024

§ 1520a.
Restrictions on use of human subjects for testing of chemical or biological agents
Prohibited activities
The Secretary of Defense may not conduct (directly or by contract)—
any test or experiment involving the use of a chemical agent or biological agent on a civilian population; or
any other testing of a chemical agent or biological agent on human subjects.
Subject to subsections (c), (d), and (e), the prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply to a test or experiment carried out for any of the following purposes:
Any peaceful purpose that is related to a medical, therapeutic, pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial, or research activity.
Any purpose that is directly related to protection against toxic chemicals or biological weapons and agents.
Any law enforcement purpose, including any purpose related to riot control.
Informed consent required

The Secretary of Defense may conduct a test or experiment described in subsection (b) only if informed consent to the testing was obtained from each human subject in advance of the testing on that subject.

Prior notice to Congress

Not later than 30 days after the date of final approval within the Department of Defense of plans for any experiment or study to be conducted by the Department of Defense (whether directly or under contract) involving the use of human subjects for the testing of a chemical agent or a biological agent, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report setting forth a full accounting of those plans, and the experiment or study may then be conducted only after the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date such report is received by those committees.

“Biological agent” defined
In this section, the term “biological agent” means any micro-organism (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiac, or protozoa), pathogen, or infectious substance, and any naturally occurring, bioengineered, or synthesized component of any such micro-organism, pathogen, or infectious substance, whatever its origin or method of production, that is capable of causing—
death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism;
deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or materials of any kind; or
deleterious alteration of the environment.
(Pub. L. 105–85, div. A, title X, § 1078, Nov. 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 1915; Pub. L. 106–65, div. A, title X, § 1067(4), Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 774.)
cite as: 50 USC 1520a