MP says campaign does not rest on science
John Baron MP has welcomed the publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal of Professor Busby’s 2007 report which suggests ill-health amongst the descendants of veterans may be linked to their presence at British nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s.
The main findings were that uranium causes genetic effects even at low doses, and that consequently veterans’ wives are three times more likely to suffer a miscarriage. Surviving children and grandchildren are also nearly 10 times more likely to suffer from congenital conditions. These findings accord well with the BNTVA’s own findings [please see ‘Notes to Editors’].
“The fact that Professor Busby’s report has been peer-reviewed adds weight to our recognition campaign. However, the campaign has never rested on science – both sides can lay claim to scientific findings.”
“Instead, the BNTVA’s campaign rests on two factors. First of all, our own findings show that one in three of veterans’ descendants suffer from a serious medical condition, whilst nearly 20% of conceptions ended in stillbirths or terminations – both figures well above the national average. Secondly, the UK ranks towards the bottom of the ‘international table of decency’ when compared to how other countries treat their test veterans.”
“This is why, having secured recognition from the Prime Minister at the Despatch Box in July, we are continuing to press for the establishment of an ex gratia payment from Government of £25m into a Charitable Fund – access to which would be on the basis of need, not entitlement, thus reinforcing this is a campaign of recognition, not compensation.”