At Science Sensei, we’ve been known to highlight some odd or horrible things in science history. In fact, we have discussed several government experiments that either made no sense and/or became a black mark on those nations. Due to the staff being mostly American, we cover a lot more government experiments from here than anywhere else. Yet there are other states that have secret experiments in their past that, at the time at least, they did not want anyone knowing about.
Yes, we will still discuss some American experiments that fall into this category. However, we will also be going over some notable government experiments from other nations, both developed and undeveloped. At the end of the day, there are many that governments wanted to hide due to what was being done. Whether it was developing new weaponry, testing out how to brainwash people, or even testing viruses… governments do a lot of horrible experiments. Let’s discuss just a few big ones!
First Nations Nutrition Experiments
- Nation Involved: Canada
- Time Period: 1940s to 1950s
While we often think of Canadians as nice, welcoming people, they have a dark history when it comes to how they have treated the Natives that have lived there for centuries. The First Nations Nutrition Experiments were conducted by the Department of Pensions and National Health from the 1940s through the 1950s. The experiments were conducted on roughly 1,300 indigenous people all over Canada. At least 1,000 were children at the time. These experiments were considered a form of genocide by most, as the government intentionally allowed people to die.
The experiments were conducted in nutrient-poor communities, mostly in the Pas and Norway House as well as residential schools around them. The experiments were conducted to see the best level of vitamins and nutritional supplements. In these experiments, many people experienced malnourishment deliberately forced by the Canadian government. The government could not claim ignorance as it was they who granted approval for these experiments, especially at the schools! Canada already underfunded those schools severely, but this led to severe childhood malnutrition that led to many early deaths.