"Gulf war 2 syndrome" probably caused by DU
"Gulf war 2 syndrome" probably caused by DU, says top scientist
And mini-nukes may have been used in bunker-buster attacks
Leading nuclear physicist and Gulf war veterans' scientific representative Dr Chris Busby said today that the newly reported outbreak of 'Gulf war 2 syndrome' is probably caused by exposure to depleted uranium.
And there is some evidence that bunker-busting weapons used by the US military in the recent war may have been small nuclear devices, not merely depleted uranium munitions.
Dr Busby, the Green Party's spokesperson on science and technology and a member of the MoD's Depleted Uranium Oversight Board, said this morning: "No one knows for certain what causes 'Gulf War syndrome', but there is evidence that some of its more nasty effects are the result of radiation poisoning.
"There are two elements to Gulf War syndrome - neurological and genetic. Neurological elements include symptoms such as rashes and fevers, and are likely to be caused by vaccinations and anti-gas pills. Genetic elements include symptoms such as chromosomal damage, immune system damage and cancer.
"The Government is turning a blind eye to the problem. If anything they will try to blame Gulf War syndrome completely on the vaccinations, and ignore the consequences of using radioactive weapons.
"If they acknowledge that depleted uranium munitions cause horrendous problems for civilians and for their own troops, they'll have to withdraw those weapons from service. And the issue may open up the whole debate about possession of nuclear weapons and the unacceptable consequences of ever using them."
Uranium found at attack sites suggests nuclear weapons were used
Dr Busby continued: "There is some evidence that US troops used small nuclear weapons in Iraq as bunker-busting weapons. If this is the case there will be worrying consequences, not simply for the civilians in Iraq, who are already suffering from increased cancer rates and high rates of birth abnormalities, but also for the soldiers who have been exposed to the radiation.
"Testing has already found chromosomal abnormalities in personnel deployed in Iraq, and the rate for kidney cancer has doubled in Gulf War vets, as have deaths from lymphoma."
The Green Party has accused the government of trying to cover up Gulf War syndrome over worries that there will be questions over the issue of low-level radiation in general, particular from nuclear plants such as Sellafield.
Dr Busby concluded "We would like all British personnel deployed in Iraq to be tested for levels of depleted uranium. The UK government has ordered testing for levels of uranium, and have said that if they find it in high levels then they will go on to test for depleted uranium. This is not good enough. Gulf War vets deserve to know what's making them ill, and the public deserves to know the consequences of Britain's use of radioactive weapons."
He concluded: "We are also demanding
that personnel deployed in Iraq are tested using the
Depleted Uranium Oversight Board's tests, not the MoD's. The
DUOB has taken care to set up stringent protocols to ensure
that tests are carried out scientifically, but we have some
reservations about the MoD' s methods of testing. "