Radioactive chapatis fed to women of Indian origin in the name of medical research

Call for Investigation: 63 years after the events of the 1960s

London (Britain) – Taiwo Owatemi, Member of Parliament for the UK’s opposition Labour Party and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, has called for an investigation into medical research conducted in the 1960s. Under this research, 21 Indian-origin women were given radioactive chapatis in the 1960s. According to ‘The Guardian’, these immigrant women in Britain were unaware of the full research details. The study aimed to test if this could help with iron deficiency in women.

Research was conducted by Cardiff University Professor Peter Ellwood, this research was funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC). The details of this study came to light in 1995 through three short films aired on a news channel.

Following this, the MRC investigated and determined that there was minimal risk to women’s health due to the research. When recruited for the study, these women sought information about the topic under investigation. Despite their efforts, they could not comprehend the nature of the test being conducted on them.

Owatemi said, “My foremost concern is for the women and the families of those who were experimented on in this study. I will be calling for debate after Parliament returns in September, followed by a full statutory inquiry into how this was allowed to happen and why the recommendation of the MRC report to identify the women was never followed up so that lessons are learnt.”

Editorial Viewpoints

  • Britain must explain why white English women weren’t considered for the research. This incident underscores that the colonial mentality towards India and Indians persisted even after the British departed from India.
  • As Prime Minister of Indian descent, Rishi Sunak should unveil the truth about this and take firm action against those involved.