No. 86, Sept. 7-13, 2000

About AGR

Gulf War Syndrome is real
Soldiers are dying from radiation poisoning

By Jonathon Carr-Brown and Martin Meissonnier

Paris, France, Sept. 3— New evidence that Gulf War Syndrome exists and was caused by radiation poisoning was revealed today by a former American army colonel who was at the center of his government’s attempts to diagnose the illness.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic told a conference of eminent nuclear scientists in Paris that “tens of thousands” of British and American soldiers are dying from radiation from depleted uranium (DU) shells fired during the Gulf war.

The findings undermined the British and American governments’ claims that Gulf War Syndrome does not exist and intensify pressure from veterans on both sides of the Atlantic for compensation.

Durakovic, who is professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown University, Washington, and the former head of nuclear medicine at the US Army’s veterans’ affairs medical facility in Delaware, told the conference that he and his team of American and Canadian scientists have discovered life-threateningly high levels of DU in Gulf veterans 10 years after the desert war.

His findings, which have been verified by four independent experts, are embarrassing for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the US Department of Defense, which have consistently refused to test Gulf War veterans for DU.

Durakovic told the European Association of Nuclear Medicine that tests on 17 veterans have shown DU in the urine and bones of 70% of them.

Depleted uranium does not occur naturally. It is the by-product of the industrial processing of waste from nuclear reactors and is better known as weapons-grade uranium. It is used to strengthen the tips of shells to ensure that they pierce armor.

Durakovic, who left America because he was told his life was in danger if he continued his research, has concluded that troops inhaled the tiny uranium particles after American and British forces fired more than 700,000 DU shells during the conflict.

The finding begins to explain for the first time why medical orderlies and mechanics are the principal victims of Gulf War Syndrome.

British Army engineers who removed tanks hit by DU shells from the battlefield and medical personnel who cut off the clothes of Iraqi casualties in field hospitals have been disproportionately affected.

Once inside the body, DU causes a slow death from cancers, irreversible kidney damage or wastage from immune deficiency disorders.

In the UK, where more than 400 veterans are estimated to have died from Gulf War Syndrome, at least 50 of those victims came from Reme (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) units. Others, such as Ray Bristow, 42, of Hull, who was a theater technician for 32 Field Hospital, are now wheelchair-bound.

Tests carried out by Durakovic on Bristow showed that, nine years after leaving the Gulf, he had more than 100 times the safe limit of DU in his body.

Durakovic said: “I doubt whether the MoD or Pentagon will have the audacity to challenge these results. I can’t say this is the solitary cause of Gulf War Syndrome, but we now have clear evidence that it is a leading factor in the majority of victims.

“I hope the US and UK governments finally realize that, by continuing to use this ammunition, they are effectively poisoning their own soldiers.”

An MoD spokesman said it would study any new evidence: “Our aim is to get the best care for British veterans and our views are based on the best evidence around.”

Source: Times Newspapers Ltd.

ALF liberates 116 animals from labs

Wellington, Colorado, Sept. 1— Under the cover of a new moon, members of the underground Animal Liberation Front raided a toxicology laboratory in Wellington, in northeastern Colorado, and rescued over one hundred animals from toxicology testing.

A communiqué from the Animal Liberation Front received by the ALF Press Office claimed responsibility for the early morning raid on Aug. 28 at Genesis Laboratories. The ALF say they liberated 116 animals, including Bobwhites and ducks, all of which were live-trapped from the wild and forced into cages for toxicology testing.

“No animal should be used to test the toxicity of any kind of human product,” stated ALF spokesperson David Barbarash. “Be it for drugs, food, cosmetics, or any consumer product, there is simply no moral or ethical justification for torturing wild animals in toxicology experiments.”

The ALF stated in the communiqué, “Genesis Laboratories performs wasteful, redundant and cruel toxicology experiments on hundreds of wild animals annually. Under the guise of “science,” vivisectors at Genesis live-trap animals in the Colorado wilderness, confine them to small cages such as those we found inside the lab, and poison or otherwise torture these innocent creatures to death. The animals are now out of this torture chamber.”

The communiqué also details how the activists were intending to free all the animals, including more birds, prairie dogs, squirrels, ferrets, and rodents, but were forced to abandon the raid after inadvertently tripping an alarm. All 116 rescued animals have been released back into the wild.

The ALF is an underground movement dedicated to liberating animals from all places of abuse and torture, and destroying animal abusers’ property.

Source: ALF:



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