Dr. Moss' Timeline

To date, nobody, from any part of the executive branch of the United States Government, has contected Moss in any way to find out what he thinks about Gulf War Illnesses (GWI).

Summer, 1990  Hired as a Research Associate with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Gainesville, Florida, to look at how insecticides work and how to improve their potency.

January, 1993  As part of a project looking at how Boric Acid kills insects, Dr. Moss mixed Boric Acid with organophosphates (which are similar to nerve gas), and found an interaction between the two.

September, 1993  Mixed a class of insecticides called Formamidines with Boric Acid and found synergism between the compounds.

November, 1993  Dr. Moss suspected that DEET (N,N,diethyl-M-toluamide), had actions similar to the Formamidines he was testing, because Formamidines and DEET had a similar potency, both were made more toxic by the same types of compounds and both were repellent. One of the types of compounds that made Formamidines and DEET more toxic were some organophosphates which are similar to nerve gas (sarin). Dr.Moss heard press reports of ill Gulf War veterans and the possible involvement of organophosphates (nerve gas, sarin). His concern that DEET could exacerbate the effects of exposure to nerve gas prompted him to notify the Department of Defense, USDA, and a producer of the DEET-containing insect repellent about his preliminary findings.

November, 1993  Became aware that a chemical similar to nerve gas (Pyridostigmine Bromide, PB), had been given to approximately 250,000 Persian Gulf troops to "protect" them from nerve gas attack.

Began conducting research on the synergistic effects of mixtures of Pyridostigmine Bromide (PB), DEET, Permethrin and the Organochlorines, Lindane and DDT, and found interactions among these chemicals.(Publication #5)

November 24, 1993  His superiors at USDA threatened to terminate Dr. Moss' employment if he continued his research, or talked about the research. For details, see the St. Petersburg Times article. After the meeting, Moss wrote about it in the official USDA lab book, which (months later) USDA put in a safe after Moss suggested to Senator Rockefeller's staff that USDA might destroy the record.

May 6, 1994  Dr. Moss testified before the Veterans' Affairs committee of the United States Senate chaired by Senator Rockefeller. (Transcript - Publication #1) (Staff Report)

July, 1994  Employment contract with USDA was not renewed.

1995  Hillary Rodham Clinton took up the challange of helping Gulf War veterans. She told the the President's Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses "No issue is off-limits and every reasonable inquiry should be pursued".)

Spring, 1996  Conducted research on mice in cooperation with scientists at the University of Mississippi.

October, 1996  Publication of the "cockroach paper" in the Journal of Economic Entomology. This paper showed that the chemicals DEET, Permethrin and PB, when used together, were more toxic than would be expected from their individual toxicities.(Publication #2)

March, 1997  Presented findings of research conducted in 1996 at the meeting of the Society of Toxicology.(Publication #3)

For further information, see the Dallas Morning News article

August, 1997  Publication of the "mouse paper" in Veterinary and Human Toxicology.This paper showed that the active ingredient in the "nerve gas protection pill" (pyridostigmine bromide, PB), becomes more toxic in the presence of a stress-induced chemical (adrenaline), and caffeine.(Publication #4)

The Institute of Medicine take on the fact that a prime suspect in Gulf War Illnesses (pyridostigmine bromide, PB) is made more toxic by the stress induced chemical, adrenaline (Gulf War and Health: Physiologic, Psychologic, and Psychosocial Effects of Deployment Related Stress).

Summer, 1997  Contracted to and wrote a report for the U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Special Investigation Unit on Persian Gulf War Illnesses. The subject was the interactions of the "nerve gas protection pill" (pyridostigmine bromide, PB), with pesticides.

September, 1998  Publication of the Report of the Special Investigation Unit on Gulf War Illnesses.-- in (Publication #5)

September 13, 1998  Awarded the Florida Distinguished Service Medal by the Governer of the State of Florida for Meritorious Service to Florida National Guard Persian Gulf War veterans.Press Release

Winter, 2001  Publication of  the paper "Many Gulf War Illnesses may be autoimmune disorders caused by the chemical and biological stressors pyridostigmine bromide, and adrenaline".  Medical Hypotheses  56 (2) (February): 155-157.

2002 Confirmation that pyridostigmine bromide, DEET, permethrin and "Stress" (at doses similar to those encountered by Gulf War troops) can cause neurological damage.

2003 Confirmation that pyridostigmine bromide, DEET, permethrin and "Stress" (at doses similar to those encountered by Gulf War troops) can cause damage to organs other than the nervous system.

November 2008 On Monday, Nov. 17 , 2008  the Congressionally-mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses  released a landmark report that concluded Gulf War illnesses are real, and that the two main causes were pyridostigmine bromide (PB) pills used to protect troops from nerve gas and the pesticides (like DEET) used to protect from insects. The report (on page 168) also identified Duke University researchers as "Investigators who first identified synergistic effects of combined exposure to PB and pesticides".  Not true, Moss did that.

April 2012   Update on an additional Autoimmune mechanism that may have caused Gulf War Illnesses.  

October 2013   "Gulf War illnesses are autoimmune illnesses caused by increased activity of the p38/MAPK pathway in CD4+ immune system cells, which was caused by nerve agent prophylaxis (pyridostigmine bromide) and adrenergic load. Medical Hypotheses. 2013,In press, YMEHY7340, DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.09.014.  

October 2013   This 2012 Ph.D dissertation and 2014 paper confirmed Moss's speculation Pub #2 that DEET might act like octopamine, the insect version of adrenaline. The authors were dismissive of Moss's work based on the lack of statictical data on one chemical DEET synergist (eserine, physostigmine), yet they somehow failed to note that 25 other interactions were tested and had the supporting statistical data. In the 1990s Moss was accused by USDA of doing the "unauthorized research" that lead to that "speculation" and paper, and additionally lead to the discovery of interactions of Gulf War chemicals. An understanding of the mode of action of DEET is of vital importance to public health, world-wide, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) deliberately blocked that research and effectively set it back twenty years. For those disinterested in Human health, disease, and sufferng, perhaps a detailed 20 year cost analysis of the USDA's actions would be of interest.  

October, 2014  In the October 1996 "cockroach paper" (Publication #2) in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Moss wrote "If DEET does have actions similar to formamidines, which have adrenergic effects in vertebrates (Wu et al. 1990, Costa et al. 1991), the effect of DEET on vertebrate adrenergic systems and interaction with adrenergic pharmaceuticals in vertebrates merits investigation." It is a bit surpsising and dissapointing that, after 18 years, all those who fed off the Moss's synergism research work on DEET pyridostigmine and permethrin, did not take the hint. That also includes the USDA, VA, and the DoD. Moss actually had preliminary data in 1995 to back that up: