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CADU NEWS 6
MOVES ANTI-DU CAMPAIGN FORWARD
The CADU International Conference against
Depleted Uranium Weapons on 4th and 5th of November, was deemed to have
been successful in its aim of moving forward the worldwide struggle for
the abolition of DU. The Conference was held in Manchester Town Hall with
the generous support of the City Council, to coincide with the declaration
of Manchester as a nuclear weapon free zone city exactly 20 years before.
CADU brought together activists from over 13 countries from across the
world as well as many from Britain. The latter were seriously reduced
in number because of the worst floods in living memory and the transport
Nonetheless, about 200 delegates gathered to discuss a wide range of topics
associated with depleted uranium munitions: the health effects, the testing
and manufacturing risks; the effects on health and the environment near
the test sites; the whole politics of the development and use of the weapons.
Many speakers saw campaigning against the whole cycle of DU weapons, and
civilian uses of DU, as part of the wider struggle for peace and social
MoD FAILED TO INFORM
GULF SOLDIERS OF DU RISKS
In a written parliamentary reply, the
defence minister, John Spellar, admitted that a message warning of the
risks of depleted uranuim, and advising of precautions to take, never
reached the soldiers in the Gulf conflict in 1991.
Spellar said that officials had uncovered a message sent from the MoD
to First Armoured Division in Saudi Arabia on 25th February 1991 about
the dangers associated with DU. A second message containing advice on
how to avoid breathing in DU particles did not reach the soldiers, putting
thousands at risk. Mr Spellar’s admission is an embarrassment to
the MoD, which is fighting claims by Gulf war veterans that they were
poisoned by depleted uranium during the war.
Veterans reacted angrily last night
to the MoD statement. Shaun Rusling, of the National Gulf Veterans and
Families Association, said he did not believe safety messages were ever
sent to the Gulf.
I think the MoD statement is untrue and is designed to cover up their
failure to issue any warnings,” he said. “This is very disturbing.
I would like to see their documentation as we can prove the MoD was fully
aware of the dangers and yet did nothing to advise troops.”
The MoD statement came as new figures showed nearly 300 Gulf War veterans
have died in the last three years. In a parliamentary reply, Mr Spellar
said 278 Gulf war veterans have died since 1995. None of the dead has
been officially confirmed as a victim of Gulf War syndrome. Fifty committed
Stephen Childs, 47, who died of liver and pancreas cancer, was the most
recent Gulf War soldier to die. His doctor believes exposure to DU while
he recovered damaged vehicles caused his illness.
The MoD said last night that it regretted that its safety notice failed
to reach troops. But a spokesman insisted that there was no proof that
soldiers fell ill as a result of depleted uranium, which is used to strengthen
the tips of shells.
The spokesman said that the substance only posed a risk to Iraqi troops
when it vapourised after piercing armour. “We do not believe it
is a problem for British veterans, but we have offered them tests. This
has not been accepted.”
The veterans’ campaign received a boost earlier this year after
tests were carried out on the body of Terry Riordon, a Canadian military
policeman who died after suffering Gulf War syndrome. They found substances
linked to depleted uranium in his bone tissue.
From a report in the Guardian, 25/11/00
CADU Conference Feedback
By Jack Cohen-Joppa
After welcoming speeches by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and Councillor
Bill Risby, CADU Coordinator Rae Street introduced the first sessions.
She asked us to acknowledge the sacrifices many have made to oppose DU
weapons, including the Plowshares group, now serving prison sentences
in Maryland - Philip Berrigan, Susan Crane, Fr. Steve Kelly and Elizabeth
Retired U.S. Army officer Dr. Doug Rokke, began with a lively presentation
on DU munitions, the battlefield hazard assessment and cleanup procedures
his team devised on the ground in Iraq and Kuwait, and his experience
with government lies. Rokke was followed by Henk van der Keur of the LAKA
Foundation, Amsterdam. He speculated that DU has also been used in pre-Iraq
armed conflicts, including perhaps by Israel in Lebanon (1982) and by
British Navy boats in the Falklands, using the U.S.-made Phalanx close-in
ship protection guns that fire a DU armor piercing round. V.d.Keur also
showed charts of worldwide DU test firings, including on 8 U.S. ranges.
Gulf war veteran Ray Bristow stepped carefully up to the platform from
his wheelchair, to tell a compelling story of his and his buddies’
confirmed DU exposure and illnesses. He recently testified before a committee
of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and encouraged lobbying of MEPs
to bring the issue into the European courts of justice.
Professor Malcolm Hooper, advisor to British Gulf war vets and Emeritus
Professor of Medical Chemistry, provided an overview of possible paths
of toxic DU exposure to veterans. Most of these paths have been poorly
studied if at all. Hooper noted the significance of recent research demonstrating
that alpha-radiation induced cell damage can be passed on by biological
action to adjacent cells, multiplying the damage. He underlined the “don’t
look, don’t find” problem with current medical research and
the reality experienced by veterans.
Baghdad University Professor of Molecular Biology Huda Ammash reviewed
studies undertaken since 1996 by Iraq to inventory soil, water, air, plant,
and wild animal samples from 200+ sites for evaluation for DU. She showed
tables describing increased cancer incidence statistics, and informed
us that Basra province, where most DU munitions were fired, accounts for
2/3 of the recorded increases in Iraq’s post-war cancer mortality.
She said DU is not the only toxic contamination present in Iraq, that
the problems are multi-faceted, and aggravated by the misleading “oil
for food” program.
Three Yugoslavians told us that Government testing confirmed DU present
at 50% more sites than NATO admitted, and only from A-10 ammo [not cruise
missiles or cluster bombs]. Bombing of the Vinca Nuclear Institute and
other industrial sources also added to the post-war DU and radiation burden.
Dr. Rosalie Bertell clearly explained the different biological impacts
between inhaled and ingested uranium, and between more soluble uranium
oxides vs. the insoluble “ceramic” oxide forms found in DU
that has impacted a hard target or burned at high temperatures. She again
reminded us that internal dose effect models were never calculated for
Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors. Dr Chris Busby, a sharp and persistent
critic of most current radiation epidemiology, described a mechanism by
which internal DU contamination can prevent the cell’s evolutionary
ability to repair DNA damage by striking the damaged cell during early
mitosis, its most vulnerable stage. This fits with the “second event”
hypothesis to describe some radiation health effects.
Legal Arguments proved to be just that, as Karen Parker and Avril MacDonald
presented quite different perspectives on the legal status of DU weapons.
Parker’s opinion was against a specific treaty to ban DU weapons
as it is not necessary, because under present international law, DU weapons
already are illegal. MacDonald argued that the burden of proof of illegality
of DU weapons cannot be established on the inadequate science and medical
information we have at present, and advocated forcefully for an international
convention prohibiting DU weapons by name.
Beginning the Public Information session, journalist Felicity Arbuthnot
spoke from the heart about what she has seen in Iraq. Polish writer Dr.
Peter Bein quoted NATO psy-ops objectives and how they affect DU info
available for citizens. German Dr. Siegwart-Horst Gunther, prosecuted
in 1991 when he began research on DU in Iraq by bringing into Germany
an intact, oxidized DU penetrator, described his subsequent work documenting
the health impact. Solange and Michel Fernex from France alerted us to
an old agreement between the World Health Organization and the International
Atomic Energy Authority that effectively gives the IAEA authority over
WHO radiation health studies, a conflict of interest that threatens necessary
research on DU effects. Damacio Lopez, a long-time New Mexico DU activist,
warned of dissent sown by instigators in our own ranks as a consequence
of U.S. government-sponsored research. Lopez encouraged activists in areas
where DU use is suspected to collect soil or rubble samples for testing
by independent labs. he has made arrangements with through the International
DU Study Team.
In the Community Activism
Around the World session, Ciaron O’Reilly reported on the anti-uranium
mining movement in Australia, and his own involvement, serving several
months in prison for dismantling uranium mining equipment at Jabiluka.
Ernesto Pena of Vieques, Puerto Rico, brought a beautiful cloth banner,
picturing a map of the island with detail about the on-going protests
and civil disobedience campaign to stop the Navy from bombing it for war
practice. He reported on the Navy’s acknowledged illegal firing
of 30mm DU rounds on the range, and asked for solidarity demonstrations
as 400+ defendants from the protest go to court soon.
Rev. Kiyul Chung spoke and translated for a larger Korean delegation representing
the besieged neighbors of the U.S. bombing range at Mae-Hyung Ri, where
DU use is suspected during decades of A-10 practice fire. Masako Ito,
volunteer director of the Depleted Uranium Center in Japan, spoke of her
experience on visits to children in Iraq after the Gulf war. She exhibited
photos, including clearly marked DU shell casings recently turned up at
a Japanese metals recycler, pointing to DU firing on a range in Okinawa.
Marco Saba from Italy stressed
the dangers of DU counterweights in civilian and military aircraft, and
the significant local contamination they may cause during crashes, particularly
those also involving fires.
Yugoslavian graduate student
Nikola Bozinovic co-founded DU in YU as NATO began bombing his country
last year, to draw attention to its use there and inform about areas of
contamination and how local residents can avoid some of the risks. The
group advocates for an international ban on DU.
Elfrida Topiciu, from the
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Albania, read
a paper in English about the Albanian experience on the border of Kosovo,
where most of the DU was fired during the 1999 NATO attacks.
I concluded this section
of the conference with a report on the organizations in Military Toxics
Project’s DU Network and their issues and activity in the United
States. I reported that in the U.S. we are circulating a petition calling
for a ban on DU weapons, and that we hope to incorporate this into a global
petition campaign as such an effort comes into focus. I spoke of the A-10s
that fly over my desert home every day, training to spray poison bullets
elsewhere around the world.
Conference presentations concluded with Local Authority Responses in the
UK, where a heightened awareness of the Gulf War veterans has brought
attention to radioactive scrap metals and contamination by industrial
fires involving DU, such as the Featherstone fire near Wolverhampton in
1999. The Fire Brigades Union is actively concerned for their members
and public health, and have an important perspective and experience to
share with local authorities in any country involved with DU hazards.
On Sunday afternoon, the conference broke into 5 strategy workshops to
assemble recommendations for action. No final resolutions were produced,
but some consensus was evident from the reports back to the final plenary.
Regarding International Legal Work, there was encouragement to
initiate civil actions against industries and governments, as these actions,
even when unsuccessful, can bring more information into public view. Timely
preparation of a draft treaty to prohibit DU weapons is another action
favored by most present. This would give petitioners a document they could
point to as a possible mechanism for the goal of banning DU weapons.
Gulf War Veterans need more resources for proper testing and research.
They announced plans for a March of Tears in London, Feb 10, 2001, to
be led by the surviving wives of dead Gulf vets.
The Scientific and Medical workshop agreed on the need to disseminate
information on how to properly test for DU, interpret the results, and
treat victims. Research is needed on multiple types of uranium, particularly
ceramic forms. And more research and publicity about internal low-level
radiation effects is needed.
The Grassroots Activism workshop called for coordinated DU actions
March 3-4, 2001, to mark the 10th anniversary of the ground war in Iraq;
and endorsed the call for international demonstrations at U.S. embassies
as the Vieques defendants come to trial over the next months.
The Environmental Strategies workshop looks to CADU to provide
written literature about DU that environmental groups can be encouraged
to use for educating their own constituency.
The conference concluded with an informal consensus on the gravity and
necessity of the work to be done. TO
CADU will endeavour to undertake co-odination of as much of the work recommended
by delegates as possible, and we will be applying for funding for a part
time worker, as well as looking for volunteers to enable us to do this.
If you feel you can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch
UN COUNSELS CAUTION AT DU SITES IN KOSOV@
United Nations scientists investigating
the effects of depleted uranium used in Kosovo during the 1999 war have
called for precautions in handling ammunition that can still be found
at numerous attack sites. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
research team, led by Finland’s former minister of Environment and
Development Co-operation, Pekka Haavisto, is financed by donations from
several governments, with Switzerland as the principal contributor.
UNEP sent a team of scientists to Kosovo to determine if there are health
or environmental risks now or in the future due to the use of depleted
uranium during the conflict. “It was possible to detect higher than
normal levels of beta and gamma radiation,” Pekka Haavisto, head
of the team told reporters. “These sites should be marked. The danger
is perhaps less than having an X-ray at the dentists, but it is an unnecessary
The team took “several hundred
samples” of spent DU ammunition and contaminated earth, soil, plants
and cow’s milk, from 13 sites in Kosovo where NATO planes had fired
on suspected Yugoslav positions during the alliance’s 1999 air war.
The samples will be tested in laboratories elsewhere in Europe and the
results of the study become available in February next year. The team’s
recently released preliminary report, however, counsels that ‘precautions
be taken when dealing with penetrators and sabots (which contain DU) found
at the identified sites and also in other locations where these ammunitions
might be present.
The UN agency’s investigations
began in May 1999 while NATO air attacks were still occurring. But the
first studies were made even more difficult by the fact that NATO would
not confirm that it was indeed using DU ammunition. NATO took 5 months
to respond to the UN’s request for information, and finally acknowledged
in March this year that its A-10 ‘’Warthog’’ aircraft
had used munitions with DU in approximately 100 attacks over Kosovo territory.
Haavisto said he was disappointed that NATO had not supplied precise details
of the bomb sites until a year and a half after the conflict, but that
the information when given had appeared accurate.
The Warthog airplanes are equipped
with GAU-8/A cannons capable of firing 4,200 rounds of 30-millimetre DU
shells per minute. The same weapons were used against Iraq in the 1991
Gulf War, and later in the NATO bombings against Bosnia.
Canadian Veterans Feel
UNEP also found that most of the 42 areas of Kosovo and Metohija on which
shells with DU were dropped during the NATO bombing are in the zone between
Pec and Djakovica, Deputy Italian Ecology Minister Valerio Calzolaio said
on Monday. Of the total 31,500 fired shells with depleted uranium, 14,180
fell in the zone now controlled by KFOR Italian troops, Calzolaio said.
Canada's veterans who think they were
poisoned in the 1991 Gulf War and in the Balkans can't trust the government
when it says they're fine, said scientists at an international conference.
Many veterans think they are being
made sick by their exposure to depleted uranium, a nuclear waste product
found in some weapons used by NATO countries.
The Department of National Defence
says tests it performed show no contamination. But when CBC showed the
test results to scientists at the International Conference against Depleted
Uranium in Manchester, U.K. last week, they all said the testing was inaccurate
and the results are useless.
"They've not looked with the right
instrumentation," said Dr. Malcolm Hooper, an adviser to Britain's Gulf
War veterans. "They've not reported accurately their own results and they've
used the wrong paradigm to interpret the data."
All of which is to say that the tests
done on 85 urine samples 150 which DND says show the soldiers had less
uranium in their systems than people in the general population have 150
are wrong from start to end.
The labs doing the testing weren't
properly equipped to detect depleted uranium at all, said Hooper. Whole
uranium occurs in the body naturally, and is easier to detect than depleted
"They're incompetent tests," said Rosaie
Bertell, a Canadian epidemiologist. "Our military men deserve better than
Chris Busby, another epidemiologist
from Wales, says the tests and their conclusions are being "economical
with the truth."
But that doesn't surprise Hooper, who
says many governments are hoping to avoid the costs of providing compensation
packages to people poisoned by depleted uranium.
Kelly Ryan reports for CBC Radio (Canada)
VETERANS FOR PEACE’
- RELIEF TO IRAQ
Veterans for Peace’ is a non-profit
educational and humanitarian group involving a number of Gulf War veterans,
and which is opposed to sanctions on Iraq. A delegation from the group
travelled to Iraq last month to help repair some of the damage his army
helped cause during the Gulf War. The delegation decided to focus its
efforts on water treatment plants because clean water is key to human
health. "Iraqi children are dying from water-borne diseases that can be
stopped with proper water treatment," said Fredy Champagne, a Vietnam
veteran and co-chair of the Iraq Water Project. "We can help save lives."
In a 1998 report, the United Nations Children's Fund -- UNICEF -- said
water treatment plants in Iraq lack spare parts, equipment, treatment
chemicals, proper maintenance and adequate, trained staff. extended power
failures limit efficiency.
Keith Boylan, one of the Gulf veterans travelling with the delegation
said the Iraq Water Project represents the chance for healing and reconciliation
with people he once considered the enemy. "I want to be able to come back
and say: We helped people while we were there,"
Veterans for Peace is one of more than 100 groups that have declared their
opposition to sanctions. Champagne, said the group has raised $35,000
to help pay for repair work on the first water treatment plant. The group
plans to raise $80,000 more to repair three other plants. The veterans
are paying their own expenses, so that all of the money donated to the
project goes into rebuilding the plants. The physical work they will perform
during their ten day stay in Iraq will be largely symbolic, as they are
not trained in construction and are middle-aged. They state they are there
mostly to show solidarity and support for ordinary working-class people..
It is hoped the trip will inspire more Gulf War veterans to join the next
Iraq Water Project delegation in 2001.
More info from - Swords to Ploughshares: http://www.swords-to-plowshares.org
or Veterans for Peace: http://www.veteransforpeace.org
IRAQIS & FORMER GIs TO SUE IN US OVER DU
Iraqi victims of cancer and former American
soldiers suffering from Gulf war syndrome are joining forces to sue the
US government over use of depleted uranium (DU) missiles. Meetings have
been held between US-based families of the Iraqis, former American service
personnel and lawyers over legal action in America. Former British personnel
who say they have been affected by DU will be invited to join the multi-million-dollar
A decade after Operation Desert Storm, lawyers believe there is enough
evidence to link the massive rise in cancer in Iraq and the effect on
British and American soldiers to almost 950,000 DU missiles and shells
fired. At the conference in Gijon, Spain held last month, (see page 7)
the impending legal action was high on the agenda. International medical
experts, Gulf war veterans including Ray Bristow, a Briton, and the former
US sergeant Carol Picou, and lawyers, including Ramsay Clark, a former
American attorney general discussed the action
Lawyers for the veterans claim the American government "recklessly" used
DU, knowing its devastating effect. One of the main arguments expected
to be put forward is that American soldiers were not given protective
clothing when sent to inspect damage caused by shells coated with DU.
Taken from a story by By Kim Sengupta in Baghdad http://www.independent.co.uk/news/World/Middle_East/2000-11/iraqi141100.shtm
Portuguese forces in
Kosmet "uranium meat"
Portuguese Defense Minister informed NATO
HQ in October this year, that he will withdraw his troops from Kosmet
. This is the right decision and should have been made earlier, Antonio
Pereira says in his editorial in the Lisbon journal "Diario de Noticias".
Pereira criticizes NATO and states that "Portuguese soldiers were sent
on missions in the area poisoned with depleted uranium". Portuguese armed
forces within NATO have been in Kosmet since August last year and had
the operations in dangerous areas, the commentator points out and claims
that NATO Secretary-General, George Robertson, was familiar with "the
dangers caused by certain dose of radiation that Portuguese units have
been exposed to".
Pereira ends his editorial with a question: "If it is hard to persuade
the authorized military circles in Washington, Paris, London or Berlin,
to send their troops to critical areas in Kosovo, does that mean that
the Portuguese are to represent uranium meat?"
lSheffield Delegation to
CADU volunteer Mike Grayer last month
travelled to Iraq with a 100 strong delegatoin from Sheffield and others
including journalist Felicity Arbuthnot. They managed to get in to the
country despite the best efforts of the Sanctions Committee who tried
to stop the flight to Baghdad by attempting to persuade Lloyds of London
to cancel the plane insurance. A detour was made over Lebanon and Syria
after Turkey denied them flight path. While in Iraq, Mike managed to question
Tariq Aziz, the Foreign Minister of Iraq, about depleted uranium. He replied
that the decontamination is extremely difficult, due to sanctions. He
was devastated by visits to the hospitals, seeing the many children with
birth deformities. He was however, inspired by the lack of bitterness
felt by ordinary people towards the British members of the delegation,
and impressed with their fortitude of spirit. More details in the next
JOIN IN! - The International
WEEK OF ACTIONS for a BAN on Depleted Uranium
Military Toxics Project in the US are planning
a week of actions against DU for the week of January 15th - 21st, 2001.
This week marks the tenth anniversary of the Gulf War.
There are several ways your organization can get involved in the efforts
to ban DU:
Participate in and get the word out about the Week of Actions. Military
Toxics Project would also like your organization to take a position in
support of an international ban on DU weaponry. Your organization can
pass a resolution calling for a ban, participate in the petition drive
to ban DU (contact the CADU office for a copy of the International Petition,
also see article on back page regarding CADU’s own petition, which
will be handed in to Geoff Hoon, Minister of Defence during this week
of action), and write letters to the editor and your members of Parliament
in support of the ban. As most of the efforts are focused in the US, it
might be an idea for UK and other non US based groups to write to the
new President of the United States.
Groups and individuals in the UK could also decide to take action at their
local DU site, or perhaps visit their local MP.
Everyone can write to Geoff Hoon, Minister
of Defence - Ministry of Defence, Main Building, Whitehall, London, SW1A
Tel: 020 7218 2111, or fax 7218 7140 or web site http://www.mod.uk/
Be sure to make the following points in order to avoid a useless answer:
a) while externally DU is only of low-level radioactivity, there is a
mounting body of evidence that the inhalation of insoluble DU particles
can cause adverse health effects
b) that the MoD should apply the precautionary principle - because there
is doubt as to the effects of DU, it should not be used until it can be
proved to be safe Action For Iraq
NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION JANUARY 15 -21st
Monday 15th Silent Vigil outside your
local town hall · Tuesday 16th Mass Nonviolent Blockade of Parliament
- Meet 1230pm Westminster Abbey: · Wednesday 17th Local Meetings · Thursday
18th Mass Blockade of Media and MPs in your area (fax / phone / e mail
/ hack their websites) http://www.faxyourmp.com: · Friday 19th Mass Leaflet
petition of your city / town: (Produce a leaflet of facts / info on Iraq)
for a copy of pettions go to www.notinournamse.org.uk · Saturday 20th
March / Protest Rally ( hold a protest rally outside a local Prominent
building ) · Sunday 21st Go to Church with Leaflets Petitions Action.
There will be a full flyer from the 8th Decemeber For more info e mail
email@example.com for an attachmant copy or send us a sae to ACTION
99 BINSTEAD GROVE SHEFFIELD S5 8NT
USING DU WEAPONS AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS?
International Action Center calls for
By John Catalinotto and Sara Flounders,
Depleted Uranium Education Project of the International Action Center
The International Action Center calls
upon international NGOs, environmental and health organizations to investigate
the Israeli military’s use of prohibited weapons in the West Bank
& Gaza, and to mobilize to stop it. These weapons include dumdum bullets
and CS gas & the IAC believes it also includes depleted- uranium weapons
from the evidence below.
U.S. arms form the major part of the Israeli arsenal and Israel has been
the number one recipient of U.S. arms aid for decades. These U.S. weapons
include the M1 Abrams tank˜which fires DU shells and is armored with
DU-reinforced metal. Since the latest intifada began, the U.S. has shipped
Israel ‘the newest and most advanced multi-mission attack helicopters
in the U.S. inventory’, as reported in the Jerusalem Post. I.e.-Apache
helicopters which are equipped to fire DU shells.
The IAC delegation witnessed Israeli helicopters, which people described
as ‘Apaches’ from the U.S., firing shells and rockets at targets
in and around Ramallah on Nov. 1. They then examined a small office used
by the Fatah organization that the projectiles hit and destroyed. The
following day they saw machine guns on tanks being fired at Palestinian
youths in Ramallah armed only with rocks and slingshots. According to
international law these attacks on civilian areas are war crimes—as
is the long-term destruction of the environment from DU contamination.
The IAC delegation gathered up shell casings and metal fragments in these
areas. As they were preparing to leave from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel
Aviv, members of the delegation were searched and interrogated. The shell
casings and metal fragments were confiscated. While this prevented the
IAC from arranging its own tests, it made them even more suspicious that
the Israeli forces were using DU shells.
According to the LAKA Foundation in the Netherlands, the Israeli army
first used depleted-uranium weapons in the 1973 war, under direction from
U.S.advisers. A 1995 report from the U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute
asserts that Israel is one of the countries with DU munitions in its arsenal.
This assertion has been repeated in the Christian Science Monitor, the
Jerusalem Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers.
Israel has a nuclear-weapons program more developed than that of any country
except the five major nuclear powers
It is likely that Israel is a manufacturer of DU ammunition. The firm
Rafael of Israel is named in numerous reports as being such a manufacturer.
But even if this were not the case, Israel has been able to import DU
weapons from the United States.
Using depleted-uranium weapons is a crime that has an insidious long-term
effect, not only on combatants and civilians in the vicinity, but over
a broad area and to the general environment, as has been shown by the
Pentagon’s massive use of DU weapons in Yugoslavia and especially
Note from CADU news editors – it has been impossible to confirm
at present whether DU is being used in Israel
The Use of Uranium in Munitions & Industry at the
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
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
in Gijon, Spain, Nov 24 / 25
Another Anti-DU conference in Spain was
attended by a large number of delegates, including many of the speakers
who had attended the CADU Conference plus other speakers such as Ramsey
Clark. It was organised by the Arab Cause Solidarity Committee in the
frame of the Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq. The Final
Declaration issued at the end of the conference had the following demands:
* That munitions and military equipment made with DU be considered as
NON-conventional weapons highly dangerous to the health of peoples and
* The use of munitions made with DU be considered as war crime and a crime
against humanity, strongly punishable by International Law.
* Placing an International ban on the Manufacturing, Storage, Marketing,
Possession, testing and Using of DU munitions and all types of military
equipment made with DU.
* The destruction of all types of munitions and military equipment made
with DU, putting the waste into safe storage.
* The decontamination of areas polluted through the use of DU munitions
and equipment both near places of manufacturing and testing of DU and
in battle fields where it has been used, in particular the Gulf and the
Balkan regions, specifically in Iraq and Yugoslavia.
* That the International community provides technical and health assistance
both to Iraq and Yugoslavia. This assistance is meant to help all those
affected by contamination resulting from the use of DU munitions.
* That the U.S. and British Governments, and all other NATO members provide
full details of the use of these munitions so that they can be removed.
These countries are held responsible for the dire consequences of the
use of these weapons and therefor should bear the responsibility of cleaning
the polluted areas and providing full compensation for all the damages
resulting from their aggressions against Iraq and Yugoslavia.
* The immediate and complete lifting of the Sanctions imposed on Iraq
in order that the people and the government of Iraq can face the dire
consequences of the massive use of these weapons during the 1991 aggression,
and the repeated aggressions still being waged daily until now in the
so called ‘No Fly Zones’.
* The commitment of the UN Secretary General to take the appropriate measures
so that the International organization immediately take steps to carefully
analyze the effects on health and the environment of the use of DU armaments,
based on the accumulated evidences of the past few years. Also to take
the necessary measures to prohibit the use of these weapons.
We finally declare our full solidarity and support to those persons affected
by the use of DU weapons in Iraq and Yugoslavia and all those affected
by them including war veterans. We also extend our solidarity to the Palestinan
Xixón, 26th of November 2000
Unfortunately due to work commitments, Cat Euler who was representing
CADU at the conference was unable to attend, but we hope to have a fuller
report from Ray Bristow in the next issue of CADU News
PROPOSALS SOUGHT FOR DU PROCESSING PLANTS
November 1, 2000 -
The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking proposals for the design, construction
and operation of new facilities at uranium enrichment plant sites in Ohio
and Kentucky. Once built, these facilities will convert the federal government’s
inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) to a more stable form
and prepare the material for disposal or potential reuse. “We are
committed to dealing effectively with our depleted uranium inventory and
continuing the environmental restoration of these sites,” said Energy
Secretary Bill Richardson. “The issuance of this Request for Proposals
puts us one step closer to addressing the government’s inventory
of depleted uranium hexafluoride at the gaseous diffusion plant sites.
The DOE estimates that it will take up to 25 years of plant operations
to convert all its depleted uranium. Proposals must be submitted by February
1, 2001, and the contract is expected to be awarded during the summer
of 2001. The Request for Proposals is available at: http://www.oro.doe.gov/duf6disposition/.
Initial Victory against
uranium mining in Jabiluka
From ‘The Age’,
Saturday 25 November 2000
The Australian Federal Government failed to win the all-clear from the
World Heritage Bureau for uranium mining at the Jabiluka enclave inside
Kakadu National Park. The bureau, the executive arm of the World Heritage
Committee that last year considered whether Kakadu should be placed on
the in-danger list, has instead referred the matter for debate at the
committee’s meeting which happened in early December
Despite intense pressure by Australia to quash the prospect of debate
next week on whether uranium mining should go ahead, the committee will
consider two critical reports from its environmental and scientific advisory
bodies. The independent international reports have recommended that more
comprehensive environmental impact assessments be done before uranium
mining begins at Jabiluka.
The reports by the International Council of Science and the World Conservation
Union are the latest on the government’s progress in meeting the
World Heritage Committee’s conditions to avoid Kakadu being placed
on the in-danger list.
The government will also be asked to consider whether there is a need
for a “new approach to consultation in relation to cultural management”
with the traditional owners of Jabiluka, the Mirrar people.
The Mirrar and the government have been in deadlock over devising a cultural
assessment and heritage management plan, which is another condition to
prevent Kakadu’s indigenous cultural values from being added to
the World Heritage in-danger list.
The government wanted to involve the Jabiluka mine developer, Energy Resources
Australia, in a cultural reference group to devise the plan. But the Mirrar
people have said they will not take part in a process to help ERA facilitate
its commercial objectives. The Mirrar people’s representative, Jacqui
Katona, declined to comment on yesterday’s developments after the
World Heritage Bureau banned accredited international, green and indigenous
observers from discussing the proceedings outside the forum.
Well over 2000 signatures were collected by groups around the country
- many thanks for all your efforts. As no MP was available to receive
the petition during our conference, it was decided to deliver it to Geoff
HoonMP, Minister for Defence, during the International Week of Action
against DU (see page 5). So latecomers are still welcome!
CADU On The Move
The Campaign Against Depleted Uranium, along with several other groups
who formed the One World Centre, is moving to new offices. This is an
exciting change for us not just because the new office will be bigger
with proper daylight and we will be part of ‘Bridge 5 Mill’
(Formerly known as Manchester Environmental Resource Centre Initiative
Bridge 5 Mill is a community and ecological centre, promoting sustainable
alternatives for Manchester. It is in an old warehouse on the banks of
the Ashton canal in Ancoats, and is currently under conversion into a
beautiful and inspiring centre. We are among the first groups to move
into the building just before Christmas, and within a few months of our
move, there should be a vegetarian cafe, a sustainability exhibition,
and meeting and conference space within the building. A roof garden, more
offices, renewable energy sources, and living accommodation will come
later. We expect Bridge 5 Mill to be a hive of activity, and we are all
looking forward to working alongside the diverse range of other groups
who will be located there, and being a part of a more sustainable future.
The new address is:-
CADU, Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick St, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HR
phone & fax 0161 273 8293
You are all more than welcome to visit us and the Mill To get there:
By car - see A-Z map - Bridge 5 Mill is on the corner of Beswick St and
Spectator St. There is limited parking on Spectator St, or ample room
on Pollard St.
By bus - a bus leaves Piccadilly Gardens every 3 minutes for Ancoats.
The no. 216 is an easy route - get off on the corner of Pollard St and
Merrill St. Continue up Pollard St (the bus goes down Merrill St) and
turn right up Beswick St. The new tram link which will be ready in 2002
will also run past the bottom of Beswick St.
Walking - up the Ashton Canal to Bridge No 5 is a pleasant route, but
you will need to squeeze through the railings just before Bridge 5 to
be able to walk over it to Spectator St.
NEW US VICE PRESIDENT
– COMMENT ON DU
Martin Meissonnier [firstname.lastname@example.org]
found this forgotten statement from Dick Cheney, possible US Vice President:
in an interview to Maggie O Kane for Channel 4 UK in the 1996 film "Riding
"DU is more of a problem than we thought when it was developed. But
it was developed according to standards and was stocked very carefully.
It turned out, maybe, to be wrong"
Did any journalist asked Mr. Cheney what role he had in the choice of
DU for Desert Storm?
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Page last updated: 6th December 2002