On 21st April 2002, Antony Barnett wrote an article for the Observer about the release of an MOD report detailing secret biological warfare experiments carried out on unknowing sections of the UK population (and animals) during 1940-1979. The article has appeared many times since on other websites and blogs, sometimes without crediting the author.
“Syndication” (although you may prefer to call it something else if the author isn’t credited and/or paid) is standard media practice, partly because news outlets cannot afford to employ enough staff to fill their column inches with material that they have created.
Syndicating news can be a positive thing. Without syndication, the MOD report story would not have made it to as many readers – only readers of the Observer or people picking it up via google or social media would have seen it.
But the down side is that not one of the people syndicating the story presented the reader with new information or a new angle compared to the Observer story. And one of the reasons for this is, I believe, that none of the syndicators had actually read the MOD report.
The MOD confirmed to me that the report was not online (Hansard suggests it may only have been in the House of Commons library) and sent me a hard copy under the Freedom of Information Act. The report is posted below for people to read and construct their own, non-syndicated, thoughts.
For information on human experimentation in the United States go here (Wiki page).