(New Jersey National Guard photo by Mark C. Olsen)

A lawmaker who wants the Pentagon to investigate whether military biological weapons experiments with ticks cause Lyme disease insists he is not spreading conspiracy theories.

"Why wouldn't we want to know?" Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told Task & Purpose. "Let the IG [inspector general's office] decide that — and put this to bed forever — if indeed it's a fable, if it's untrue."

Smith authored an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Pentagon to investigate if the military released infected ticks onto an unsuspecting American public "by accident or experiment design."

But experts say they are skeptical of any link between U.S. military bioweapons research and the outbreak of Lyme disease.

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(New Jersey National Guard photo by Mark C. Olsen)

If you've ever wondered if the Pentagon has ever exposed the American public to ticks infected with biological weapons, you're not alone.

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) authored an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would require the Defense Department Inspector General's Office to find out if the U.S. military experimented with using ticks and other insects as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975.

If such experiments took place, the amendment would require the inspector general's office to tell lawmakers if any of the ticks or other bugs "were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design."

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