Army accused of poisoning troops in anti-malaria drug trial

THE father of an Ipswich soldier who the army allegedly used as a guinea pig in a series of unethical Mefloquine drug trials has taken his fight for justice to the nation's capital.

Major Stuart McCarthy, 46, was administered the controversial anti-malaria drug during the early 2000s while serving in East Timor.

Mefloquine is a neurotoxin which has been linked to countless deaths, psychotic breakdowns and suicides around the world.

Major McCarthy has experienced severe and on-going health concerns since being administered the drug - all of which are medically documented side-effects of Mefloquine use.

The army to date has refused to accept Major McCarthy's diagnosis.

Stuart's father, Brian McCarthy, penned a letter this week to Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne pleading with her to take action.

The letter, which the QT has viewed, urges Senator Payne to seek independent advice about the issue, which potentially has affected thousands of defence personnel.

Mr McCarthy claims those currently advising Senator Payne on the issue are the same people involved in the initial drug trials - including a now high-ranking defence official.

"It is very important you note Stuart has been presenting with symptoms of side effects from Mefloquine for a very long time," he said.

"These symptoms are now regarded by the manufacturer as common and yet he remains undiagnosed.

"So far the ADF has presented the party line approach that there is not a problem and there is no action required - this is just not acceptable nor good enough.

"I have very credible reasons for doubting the quality of the advice which you and your predecessors have received from the ADF about this issue."

The Queensland Times posed a series of questions to the Defence Department last Wednesday about Mefloquine use.

The Defence Department has not bothered to provide answers to those questions.

The QT also contacted Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne last Wednesday for comment but she too has not responded to questions posed to her.


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