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The Potassium Iodide Rumor Mill is at it Again

The Defense Logistics Agency is the body responsible for making sure that the military troops working worldwide have the resources they need to survive, thrive, and fight if necessary. As part of a normal procurement procedure, the DLA posted a purchase order for Potassium Iodide. This pill is used to fight radiation exposure. The pill hits the thyroid where radiation is typically stored during a an exposure situation and helps to counteract the impact of nuclear radiation. The DLA even went so far as to mention[private member|trial] in the request that this was to help protect US troops that might be asked to help in zones where nuclear contamination is present (such as near the Japanese Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant) and possible other areas of “fallout”. At first glance, one would think that this was an ominous sign and one that would cause us all to go into our nuclear bomb shelters (or pretend we have one). And, the source of the order below was a doomsday sight as you can imagine – we hope the authenticity is real – that’s why this is in the rumor section.

The order is for 75,000 packages, each one can protect a single person for two weeks. When you think about the hundreds of thousands of US military personnel that are deployed worldwide, this amount is not going to be used to get ready for a nuclear war with Iran, North Korea, or any other nuclear power. These quantities are far too small. And, the DLA is far more sophisticated than that. If this was a Top Secret maneuver aimed at preparing for something that they really were concerned about (a conspiracy theory event), then they would use other procurement means to get these supplies. They were not concerned about hiding this request at all. Here’s a copy of what is supposed to be the actual request:

Solicitation Number: spm2dp11r0005 Notice Type: Solicitation J&A Statutory Authority: FAR 6.302-1(c) – Brand name Synopsis: Added: Dec 12, 2011 10:21 am POTASSIUM IODIDE TABLETS, USP, 130 MG POTASSIUM IODIDE, INDIVIDUALLY SEALED IN FOIL WRAP, 14S “IOSAT” NDC51803-0001-01 AAc “L”; u/i “pg” (14’s indiv. sealed) Added: Apr 09, 2012 2:14 pm Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition Under Authority of 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1) Potassium Iodide Tablets 1. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Troop Support, Medical Supply Chain is the contracting activity. 2. The action being approved is the ability to solicit for DLA requirements on an Other than Full and Open Competition basis. 3. Following are the supplies required to meet DLA’s needs:

Item Description: Potassium Iodide Tablets, USP,130 MG, Potassium Iodide, Individually Sealed in Foil Wrap, 14s NSN: 6505-01-496-4916 Quantity: 75,000 PG Unit Price: $5.23 (Based on the award made on 6/17/11 for 175 PG.) Number of Options: None Maximum Dollar Value: $392,250.00

4. The applicable statutory authority permitting Other than Full and Open Competition is 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), FAR Part 6.302-1(c), Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. 5. The use of this authority is necessary because the USAMMA has submitted a MILSTRP for this item to ensure that critical operational forces are protected in the event of nuclear fallout. The recent earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 and the resultant nuclear crisis has renewed interest in this item. Anbex Inc. is the only FDA-approved manufacturer of the subject item. There are fourteen tablets in each package which will protect one adult for two weeks. The procurement history of the item indicated that awards were only made to Anbex Inc. and distributors offering the Anbex Inc. item. If an offer is received from a new manufacturer of this item, FDA approval will be required prior to award. The FDA recommends potassium iodide (KI) for thyroid blocking in radiation emergencies. It can be used to provide safe and effective protection against thyroid cancer caused by irradiation.

But, as one would expect, the doomsayers are having a heyday with it. And unfortunately, this coincided with a report that showed elevated radiation in Kelp and seaweed off the coast of California this week (but not harmful). So, think what you want. But, a North Korea missile launch, heightened Iranian nuclear talks, or threats of a Pakistan/Indian nuclear exchange aren’t likely the impetus for this request.

We don’t have visibility into the DLA and don’t work for the DLA, but thinking through Government procurement processes and the work of keeping Top Secrets…Top Secret; there probably isn’t a lot that should be read into this RFP. We aren’t talking you out of running to the local doomsday prepper store and buying a six month supply of Potassium Iodide (as we read one prepper did on an unnamed website), but you have to do with this as you will. My shelves are still void of potassium iodide and will probably remain so – and I have a teenager at home. But, I’ll gladly kick in to help pay for a soldier going into the Fukushima region to help aid the Japanese – and hope that God blesses them and keeps them safe – with a packet of potassium iodide in their fatigues for safe measure. – Keith[/private]

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