Depleted Uranium: Come clean on dirty bombs!

Member of Scottish Parliament sends dossier on depleted uranium to Defence Secretary:

Member of Scottish Parliament sends dossier on depleted uranium to Defence Secretary: come clean on dirty bombs!

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate use


MSP sends dossier on depleted uranium to Defence Secretary:  come clean on dirty bombs!

Character assassination used to silence DU opponents.

Dr Bill Wilson MSP (SNP) has sent the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, a dossier containing what he describes as “significant evidence pointing to the devastating effects of depleted uranium (DU) on the health of armed services personnel and civilians, and of the UK and USA’s attempts to suppress such evidence and prevent the investigation of the effects of DU” and called on the UK Government to take appropriate action.

DU = dirty bombs

Dr Wilson said, “There is much talk about terrorists potentially using ‘dirty bombs’, i.e. weapons which emit radiation and indiscriminately affect anyone in the vicinity, yet the USA, the UK and Israel have deployed many tonnes of DU-tipped shells.  DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years and the microscopic uranium oxide dust that DU shells produce on impact can be blown hundreds of miles, inhaled and ingested.  If these are not dirty bombs then what are they?
“There is considerable evidence that thousands of armed services personnel, their families and countless civilians have been and are continuing to be affected by DU in many ways, suffering, for example, premature death, respiratory problems, cancers, stillbirths and birth deformities.

Character assassination

“Furthermore, I have seen enough evidence to believe that those who are brave enough to look into the effects of DU risk losing their jobs and worse.  Character assassination is one tool in the armoury of those who seek to silence truth-seekers.  I have received emails scurrilously attacking the credibility of one my informants.  Unfortunately for the defender of DU, I happened already to hold various documents disproving his baseless allegations.  It was an eye-opening insight into the ruthlessness of the pro-DU lobb 
“I have urged Liam Fox to investigate the impact of DU on the health of UK service personnel and civilians.  I have also requested him to:
·         acknowledge the validity of the precautionary principle as it pertains to the potential health effects of DU;
·         comply with UN resolutions pertaining to DU;
·         cease to use all DU weapons (for example, CHARM 3 120 mm anti-tank rounds), and to
·         clean up the mess left in theatres of war where DU weapons have been used by allied troops (this to include such measures as oiling radioactive dust to prevent it being carried by the wind and barricading heavily contaminated sites such as destroyed tanks, where clean-up is not practical and where children are currently free to play).”
Dr Wilson concluded by saying, “I am not holding my breath, but it would be wonderful if the coalition government did the right thing here, took the moral high ground and turned its back on dirty bombs, once and for all.  In the meantime I am asking the Scottish Government to look into the health of armed services veterans and their families resident here, as I have little faith that the UK Government will do so.”
– ends –

Contact
Dr Bill Wilson MSP
Tel +44 (0) 782 459 6994 / 131 348 6805 / 141 840 2772
Fax +44 (0) 131 348 6806 / 141 889 4693
E-mail [email protected]ment.uk
Website www.billwilsonmsp.com/

Notes to Editors
1. Full text of letter with links to the evidence
08 February 2011
The Right Honourable Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for Defence
MOD Ministerial Correspondence Unit
Floor, Zone A
Main Building
Whitehall, London
SW1A 2HB

Dear Mr Fox
The health of service personnel and civilians exposed to depleted uranium
There is considerable evidence for depleted uranium (DU) having a harmful effect on health and serious grounds for believing that the UK Government and the Ministry of Defence have been failing in their duty to look after service personnel and civilians.
I would like to draw your attention to a statement on the MoD website: “Of course, the Government would consider carefully any reliable medical or scientific data that may emerge concerning the incidence of ill health in Iraq.”  You will know that the UK Government effectively attempted to impede the investigation of the association between DU and ill health by voting against UN Resolution 65/55 on Depleted Uranium, which called on state users of depleted uranium weapons to reveal where the weapons have been fired when countries affected by them ask for such information.
You will be aware of abundant, and growing, evidence concerning the incidence of ill health in Iraq, which I assume you are investigating.  You could start by responding to this peer-reviewed article:  Busby, C.; Hamdan, M.; Ariabi, E. Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 2828-2837 (http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/7/7/2828/).
It has been suggested that the Royal Society takes the view that depleted uranium (DU) is safe.  The Royal Society itself spoke out voicing concern that its original paper was misinterpreted as implying that this was the case.
I draw your attention to the following (full documents attached):
·        Evidence presented by Dr Keith Baverstock, of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Eastern Finland, to the Belgian Defence Committee on the toxicity of DU ( “Presentation to the Defence Committee of the Belgian House of Representatives: 20 November 2006.”;  http://kbaverstock.org/EVIDENCDETOBELGIANCOMM.pdf ).  Note that he emphasises the precautionary principle, a concept apparently unknown to the UK and US Governments and the MoD/DoD, and states, “I think it is clear that the major risk assessments of the health impact of DU have not addressed the genotoxic hazard and it is conspicuously absent from much cited assessments of toxicity such as that by Priest (21). It is also the case, as far as I am aware, that no specific body has been assigned the responsibility to produce the necessary evidence that DU oxide dusts do not pose a hazard to health.
·        A BBC article, dated 1 November 2006, quoting Dr Baverstock attacking reports that DU is relatively innocuous (“Depleted uranium risk ‘ignored’”;  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6105726.stm ).
·        Evidence presented by Dr Chris Busby, Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, rebutting a Home Office article denying the effects of DU (http://www.greenaudit.org/du_the_home_office_and_kosovo_refugees.htm).
·        Evidence presented by Dr Chris Busby rebutting the Royal Society claim that DU presents little risk (http://www.llrc.org/du/subtopic/durs.htm).
·        Evidence presented by Martin Hooper, emeritus professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Sunderland, also rebutting the Royal Society claim that DU presents little risk (http://www.cadu.org.uk/info/reports/hooper.htm).
·        The Royal Society itself has stated that “both soldiers and civilians [are] in short and long term danger” (“Scientists urge shell clear-up to protect civilians. Royal Society spells out dangers of depleted uranium”; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/apr/17/highereducation.science/print).
·        An information card issued to UK service personnel clearly stating that DU “has the potential to cause ill health” (http://www.billwilsonmsp.com/images/DU/du_info_card.jpg).
·        Documentation from Major Doug Rokke Ph.D., employed by the US army to devise protocols for dealing with DU safely, citing extensive evidence of the effects of DU and presenting evidence for a deliberate policy of suppression/denial/cover-up on the part of the US and UK governments and the DoD/MoD (http://www.billwilsonmsp.com/images/DU/du_gulf_war_jun_2005_to_nov_25_2006.pdf).
·        At least two former UK service personnel have been found, by due legal/medical process, to have suffered as a result of DU exposure, one winning a pension appeal on that basis, and the other being found to have died as a result of exposure to it (“First award for depleted uranium poisoning claim”; http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/first-award-for-depleted-uranium-poisoning-claim-1.94325 and “Press Release : NGVFA (National Gulf Veterans and Families Association) Gulf War Veterans Support Coroners Findings and Concerns”;http://www.ngvfa.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?item=48&from=fp ).
·         “Successive [UK] governments have resisted calls for a public inquiry into the harmful effects of depleted uranium ammunition to avoid compensation claims, which could potentially cost them hundreds of millions of pounds”  (“Fewer than 10 Gulf war troops had uranium poisoning”;http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/fewer-than-10-gulf-war-troops-had-uranium-poisoning-1.94280).
·        A memorandum, dated 1 March 1991, which is an order, on the part of the US army, to suppress information regarding the health effects of DU (http://www.grassrootspeace.org/twomemos.html).
·        An article titled “ITEM OF INTEREST”, which is a “Defense Nuclear Agency Memo” written by Gregory K. Lyle, LTC, USA concerning what “can, must or should be done with the millions of expanded rounds of depleted uranium ordinance” in Iraq.  It notes that clean up procedures “were not meant to support shipments of thousands of DU rounds from site restoration.”  It goes on to note “As Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), ground combat units, and the civil populations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq come increasingly into contact with DU ordnance, we must prepare to deal with the potential problems.”  Further, “Alpha particles (uranium oxide dust) from expanded rounds is a health concern but, Beta particles from fragments and intact rounds is a serious health threat, with a possible exposure rate of 200 millirems per hour on contact.”  The memo warns that “specific DoD guidance concerning the disposition of DU material in the post combat period/restoration phase is currently lacking.”  The writer hoped that “expression of our concerns over the side effects of DU use will help ensure protection for our troops and allies.”  This memo is undated – Dr Rokke says he received it around the same time he received the Los Alamos memo in 1991. (http://www.grassrootspeace.org/twomemos.htm)
·        The UK state has previously attempted to deny the effects of radiation on service personnel (“Opinion: battling against the legacy of Britain’s nuclear tests”; http://politics.caledonianmercury.com/2011/01/21/opinion-battling-against-the-legacy-of-britains-nuclear-tests/).
·        The testimony of Dr Asaf Durakovic, former Chief of Nuclear Medicine at the veterans’ hospital in Wilmington Delaware, would seem to indicate deliberate (and potentially murderous) attempts to suppress information regarding the effects of DU, and the callous exposure of service personnel to it (“The NI Interview. Asaf Durakovic. Felicity Arbuthnot meets a respected scientist fighting on behalf of American Gulf War veterans.”;http://www.newint.org/features/1998/09/05/interview/ ).
·        The UK Atomic Energy Authority sent a report in 1990 to the UK Government estimating that if 50 tonnes of DU were left in the Gulf area should there be a war, this would lead to an estimated 50,000 extra cancer deaths in a decade.  In 1999 experts were estimating that there might be 900 tonnes remaining, dispersed by the wind (“Poisoned Legacy. Felicity Arbuthnot investigates the worldwide spread of cancers and deformities since the Gulf War.”; http://www.newint.org/features/1999/09/05/poisoned/).
·        A Vanity Fair article summarising the case against DU as it stood in December 2004.  It refers to the work of Dr Asaf Durakovic and Major Doug Rokke, the apparent attempts to silence/sideline them when their findings proved inconvenient, and the experiences of various US service personnel and factory workers exposed to DU.  (“Weapons of Self-Destruction.  Is Gulf War syndrome—possibly caused by Pentagon ammunition—taking its toll on G.I.’s in Iraq?”; http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2004/12/iraq200412)
I hope you will not continue to turn a blind eye to the considerable evidence that exists and will not continue to refuse to take adequate measures to investigate the impact of DU on the health of UK service personnel and civilians.  I also request you to:
·        acknowledge the validity of the precautionary principle as it pertains to the potential health effects of DU;
·        comply with UN resolutions pertaining to DU;
·        cease to use all DU weapons (for example, CHARM 3 120 mm anti-tank rounds), and to
·        clean up the mess left in theatres of war where DU weapons have been used by allied troops (this to include such measures as oiling radioactive dust to prevent it being carried by the wind and barricading heavily contaminated sites such as destroyed tanks, where clean-up is not practical and where children are currently free to play).
I thank you, in anticipation, for acting to protect the health, both of UK service personnel and civilians in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Aefauldlie
Dr Bill Wilson MSP
2. Related previous releases
http://www.billwilsonmsp.com/index.php?option=com_search&Itemid=5&searchword=depleted+uranium&submit=Search&searchphrase=exact&ordering=newest
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