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The Use of Uranium in Munitions & Industry at the European Parliament

By Raymond A.Bristow
27th October 2000

On 25th October 2000 the issue of the use of Uranium in Munitions & Industry was finally taken to the European Parliament Strasbourg. I express a special note of thanks to 'Nibby' (Mr Richard David, DU Poisoned through exposure in industry), instrumental in organising the event and also to Graham Watson MEP who hosted and chaired it.

At a meeting on the evening before the event, Watson stated that he had come under Governmental pressure not to host and pursue this issue, which only resulted in him becoming more determined. He opened the presentation in parliament, and then part of a French TV Documentary by Martin Meissonnier was shown to give an overview on the use of Radioactive Waste in Munitions and Industry. Following this, Mary Ripley-Gruzman gave a talk about the work of the Medical Uranium Project (MUP). She presented scientific facts with slides displaying the results presented by Prof. Durakovic at the Paris Scientific meeting held a few weeks ago. She stated that the MUP would work with and share information with any establishment in any of the European countries but this would involve the MUP protocols and overall control. (they will only carry out Science & Research for the good and benefit of the victims of poisoning with Nuclear Waste and not help in any Official cover up)

'Nibby' David followed Mary and he spoke about the 'secrecy' of the use of Radioactive Waste in industry. The next speaker was Damacio Lopez a seasoned anti DU campaigner. His home town in New Mexico is next to a Uranium Munitions testing range. The community has endured an extremely high level of health problems, with the signs and symptoms that ill Gulf War Veterans are suffering from and in addition the terrible birth defects and cancers. Damacio focused on the moral and legal aspects of the use of Uranium Munitions. He quoted the United Nations sub committee ruling where it declares such weapons are illegal.

In a question from the floor a Labour MEP claimed that the MoD had offered to test the 30 Veterans that had tested positive but none had come forward. I replied with the following:

1. There was no need for the Veterans to be tested again as they and their Medical Practitioners had the results.
2. Is it not more important to test the thousands of ill Veterans whom the MoD accepts are ill but they don't know why?
3. One Veteran came forward and was tested, the result being no DU found. However the Veterans found this difficult to believe as this Veteran was highly positive. With a little investigation the Veterans identified that he had been tested for the presence of naturally occurring Uranium, so of course no DU had been found and incidentally the establishment concerned with the test confirmed that they did not have the facilities to test for DU.
4. I also referred to the reporting of the Paris Conference by Martin Meissonnier & Jonathon Carr-Brown and the MoD's Statement which was it is their duty to ensure that the Veterans get the best possible care. I pointed out that I had a letter from The Gulf Veterans Illness Unit that clearly states that the Unit and the MoD Medical Assessment Program is for Medical Assessment and advice and NOT care. Once again the MoD misled the Public, Veterans and Politicians.

At first we were a little disappointed with the attendance. However, Graham Watson MEP was very upbeat as those that did attend were very interested in the issue and were also very influential MEP's. Some of the MEP's stayed back for personal chats with us asking further questions expressing concern and a determination to know more. I was encouraged by Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire & Humberside (my area); she expressed great interest and said she had been following the issue on TV in the UK. So we came away very pleased with the day. Interviews were given to the French TV

This is just the beginning. Graham Watson needs much support. An excellent foundation has been laid. To take the cause further I propose that each person who is actively concerned with the use of DU should present this issue to their MEP and encourage others to do the same.

As the United Nations has no Law Enforcement capability then the countries that choose to ignore the illegality of DU Weapons then they will get away with its use. If the issue is actively pushed in the European Parliament we may (must as a goal) then get it referred to the European Courts of Justice. It is this court that can enforce the law of the UN upon Member Countries of the EU.

(The views expressed in this document are my own)

The NGWVA is now waiting for the European Parliament's response to the delegation. Shaun Rusling said:

"We achieved everything we wanted to in bringing the whole compensation issue to the European Parliament's Justice and Human Rights Committee. The British government has failed to recognise our calls, and requests from the Royal British Legion, for an independent inquiry. When you look at it, 32 people have died from Creutzfeldt- Jakob's Disease and they have had a public inquiry. But 468 veterans have died of Gulf War Syndrome and their widows and families get nothing. There are servicemen out there without proper medical care and support. I am glad the Government has acted for the families and victims of new variant CJD, but we want action for the widows, families and veterans who are all victims of Gulf War Syndrome. Sadly, our members are dying now. That is the case we have made to Europe and hopefully the European Parliament will now add its powerful voice to our campaign for an independent public inquiry.”

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From CADU News 7: Spring 2001

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