there are signs that the WHO has sought to distance itself from the findings. The interim report, which was published on September 11th, is unsigned by its authors and, while published on the WHO’s website, is apparently the sole responsibility of the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
Fresh revelations cast doubt over reliability of Iraq birth defect study http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/fresh-doubts-over-reliability-iraq-study 16 Oct 13 Trust in the findings of a study into rates of congenital birth defects in Iraq, undertaken by the WHO and Iraqi Ministry of Health, has continued to decline after interventions from three former UN officials. ICBUW continues to argue that full transparency is the only way for the WHO and Iraqi Ministry of Health to rebuild the study’s credibility. Continue reading
The publication of this ‘summary document’ on the World Health Organisation’s website has raised questions from independent experts and former United Nations and WHO officials, who question the validity of its findings and its anonymous authorship.
“There is definitive evidence of an alarming rise in birth defects, leukaemia, cancer and other carcinogenic diseases in Iraq after the war. Looking at the stark difference between previous descriptions of the WHO study’s findings and this new report, it seems that someone, somewhere clumsily decided that they would not release these damning findings, but instead obscure them.”
How the World Health Organisation covered up Iraq’s nuclear nightmare http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/oct/13/world-health-organisation-iraq-war-depleted-uranium by Nafeez Ahmed Ex-UN, WHO officials reveal political interference to suppress scientific evidence of postwar environmental health catastrophe
Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a long awaited document summarising the findings of an in-depth investigation into the prevalence of congenital birth defects (CBD) in Iraq, which many experts believe is linked to the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by Allied forces. According to the ‘summary report’:
“The rates for spontaneous abortion, stillbirths and congenital birth defects found in the study are consistent with or even lower than international estimates. The study provides no clear evidence to suggest an unusually high rate of congenital birth defects in Iraq.”
Jaffar Hussain, WHO’s Head of Mission in Iraq, said that the report is based on survey techniques that are “renowned worldwide” and that the study was peer reviewed “extensively” by international experts.
But the conclusions contrasted dramatically from previous statements about the research findings from Iraqi Ministry of Health (MOH) officials involved in the study. Earlier this year, BBC Newsspoke to MOH researchers who confirmed the joint report would furnish “damning evidence” that rates of birth defects are higher in areas experiencing heavy fighting in the 2003 war. In an earlypress release, WHO similarly acknowledged “existing MOH statistics showing high number of CBD cases” in the “high risk” areas selected for study. Continue reading
Last week, U.K. foreign secretary William Hague, said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is “not something that a humane or civilized world can ignore.” Ironically, Western countries such as the U.K. and their allies have appeared to ignore the use of weapons that are equally vicious.
When “non-Westerners” make use of weapons of mass destruction, there is outrage and calls for military intervention from “the West,” but when “Westerners” themselves use them, it is totally permissible and the world can hardly react.
U.S. DEPLETED URANIUM AS MALICIOUS AS SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS HTTPS://CRAIGCONSIDINETCD.WORDPRESS.COM/2013/08/25/U-S-DEPLETED-URANIUM-AS-MALICIOUS-AS-SYRIAN-CHEMICAL-WEAPONS/ CRAIG CONSIDINE
By this time you have likely heard of the atrocity that recently took place in which over 1,000 Syrian civilians reportedly died at the hands of a chemical weapon attack. Seeing the video and images of dead or helpless Syrian civilians struggling for life reminds me of another terrible weapon of war – depleted uranium.
It is no secret that the U.S., with the assistance of OTHER GOVERNMENTS, used depleted uranium in the Gulf and Iraq War. A simple Google search of this topic can produce dozens and dozens of credible reports or stories to confirm these war crimes. For example, an important REPORT on Harvard University’s website discusses the fallout of depleted uranium contamination in Iraq. Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi, who authored the report after the GULF WAR, wrote that:
“DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) WEAPONRY HAS BEEN USED AGAINST IRAQ FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF RECENT WARS. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE COMPLICATIONS AND DAMAGE RELATED TO THE USE OF SUCH RADIOACTIVE AND TOXIC WEAPONS ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE HUMAN POPULATION MOSTLY RESULTS FROM THE INTENDED CONCEALMENT, DENIAL AND MISLEADING INFORMATION RELEASED BY THE PENTAGON ABOUT THE QUANTITIES, CHARACTERISTICS AND THE AREA’S IN IRAQ, IN WHICH THESE WEAPONS HAVE BEEN USED.”
Similarly, as Democracy Now! REPORTED in an interview with Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail, ”the U.S. INVASION OF IRAQ has left behind a legacy of cancer and birth defects suspected of being caused by the U.S. military’s extensive use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus.” Democracy Now! wrote: Continue reading
In March 2013, BBC World broadcast a documentary on the story. As with other media reports, Born Under A Bad Sign visited the hospitals and spoke with parents and doctors – all of whom were convinced that the health problems they were witnessing were linked to the war.
Broadcast of the BBC report in March was followed by updates to the WHO’s FAQ. Gone was the petulant ‘No, absolutely not’ from the line on depleted uranium and the first of a series of procedural delays was announced as committees were formed and new analyses proposed. For campaigners seeking disclosure of the data as a first step towards focused research and humanitarian assistance in Iraq, the delays were worrying.
So how can civil society and individuals influence an organisation as monolithic and apparently compromised as the WHO? On the 31st July, Dr Al’aani launched an online petition through Change.org (with the associated twitter hashtag of #Act4Iraq) calling for the WHO to immediately publish the collected data for independent peer review, so that scientific conclusions can be drawn and the affected parents can finally understand what has happened to their children
Birth Defects: Did The Occupation of Iraq Leave a Toxic Legacy? http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/birth_defects_did_the_occupation_of_iraq_leave_a_toxic_legacy 6 Aug 13, During the occupation of Iraq, the city of Fallujah bore witness to some of the most intense US combat operations since Vietnam, with 2004’s OperationPhantom Fury widely condemned for its ferocity and disregard for international law.
Paediatrician Dr Samira Al’aani has worked in the city since 1997. In 2006 she began to notice an increase in the number of babies being born with congenital birth defects (CBD). Concerned, she began to log the cases that she saw. Through careful record keeping she has determined that at Fallujah General Hospital, 144 babies are now born with a deformity for every 1000 live births. This is nearly six times higher than the average rate in the UK between 2006 and 2010, and one strong suspicion is that contamination from the toxic constituents of munitions used by occupying forces could be the cause. (photo of Dr A;’aani by Donna Mulhearn)
Now a new nationwide study by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, has the potential to catalyse efforts to understand and confront the issue, but only if science can be allowed to rise above politics. Continue reading
The withholding of the WHO report suggests extreme pressure on the World Health Organization by nations which have something terrible to hide. It would be difficult for the report to sidestep epidemic rates of cancer in Iraq regions where depleted uranium was used. Chowdhury’s article, “WHO’s Iraq Birth Defect Study Omits Causation,” indicates the WHO report purposefully avoids considering the causes of the overwhelming birth defects, disease, and death rates.
Syria, Iraq and Depleted Uranium http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-iraq-and-depleted-uranium/5343806 By John Bart Gerald
Global Research, July 25, 2013 As the U.S.considers expanding its war on Syria to overt military aggression, Iraq provides some warning of the human cost of accepting the policies of madmen. In Iraq military action starting with “Desert Storm” in 1991, caused the near total destruction of Iraq’s society, culture, environment and eventual losses of millions of innocent people. Health and mortality information risks heavy suppression and manipulation since it provides evidence concerning a crime. In Spain, theBrussells Tribunal‘s cogent case attempting to prosecute George Bush, Tony Blair and others for genocide inIraq was rejected by the court. Lack of legal recourse for the people of Iraq before a non-partisan international court marks the International Criminal Court’s failure to bend the major powers from illegal wars of aggression.
Primary alleged crimes of the U.S. and NATO coalition’s war on Iraq remain unaddressed:
1. aggression and the betrayal of Iraq’s sovereignty.
2. massive military bombardment of civilian areas.
3. intentional destruction of the civilian infrastructure and water supply.
4. use of depleted uranium weaponry to cause the slow death of civilian populations and render portions of the land unable to sustain health and life in the future.
While these points are neglected by the media, current information concerning use of depleted uranium is so notably missing there may be an attempt to remove the issue from the public’s awareness (1 and 2). While depleted uranium is a lethal radiological weapon, relevant public information is suppressed, excised, falsely countered and ignored. Continue reading
What’s delaying the WHO report on Iraqi birth defects http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/06/201365101540408281.html A 2012 World Health Organization study on congenital birth defects in Iraq has still not been released to the public. 06 Jun 2013 Mozhgan Savabieasfahani Dr Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, a native of Iran, is an environmental toxicologist based in Michigan. She is the author of over two dozen peer reviewed articles and the book, Pollution and Reproductive Damage (DVM 2009).
Iraq is poisoned. Thirty-five million Iraqis wake up every morning to a living nightmare of childhood cancers, adult cancers and birth defects. Familial cancers, cluster cancers and multiple cancers in the same individual have become frequent in Iraq.
Sterility, repeated miscarriages, stillbirths and severe birth defects – some never described in any medical books – are all around, in increasing numbers. Trapped in this hellish nightmare, millions of Iraqis struggle to survive, and they and they call for help.
At long last, public pressure and media attention to this public health catastrophe prompted a joint study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Iraqi Ministry of Health to determine the prevalence of birth defects in Iraq. This study began in May-June 2012 and was completed in early October 2012. Continue reading
Scientists detect high levels of uranium contamination that increases cancers, birth defects in Iraq http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130521/Scientists-detect-high-levels-of-uranium-contamination-that-increases-cancers-birth-defects-in-Iraq.aspx May 21, 2013 Ten years after the Iraq war of 2003 a team of scientists based in Mosul, northern Iraq, have detected high levels of uranium contamination in soil samples at three sites in the province of Nineveh which, coupled with dramatically increasing rates of childhood cancers and birth defects at local hospitals, highlight the ongoing legacy of modern warfare to civilians in conflict zones. The radioactive element uranium is widely dispersed throughout the earth’s crust and is much sought after as a fuel for nuclear power plants and for use in weapons. Depleted uranium (DU), commonly used in modern munitions such as defensive armour plating and armour-piercing projectiles, is 40 per cent less radioactive than natural uranium, but remains a significant and controversial danger to human health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets a maximum uranium exposure of 1 millisievert (mSv) per year for the general public, but environmental scientists at the University of Mosul and the Institute of Forest Ecology, Universitaet für Bodenkultur (BOKU), Vienna, Austria, led by Riyad Abdullah Fathi have measured significant levels of uranium in soil samples from three sites in the province of Nineveh in the north of Iraq. Writing in the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Fathi and colleagues link their findings with dramatic increases in cancers reported to the Mosul Cancer Registry and the Iraqi national cancer registry (which began collecting data in 1975).
They conclude that:
“The Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003 left a legacy of pollution with DU in many regions of Iraq. The effects of these munitions may be affecting the general health of Iraqi citizens, manifesting in an increase in cancers and birth defects.”
They also warn that, even though some of the contamination measured in this study is specifically linked to known sites, it can be easily spread widely in the air, soil and water, particularly as dust in windstorms.
Their report “Environmental pollution by depleted uranium in Iraq with special reference to Mosul and possible effects on cancer and birth defect rates” begins with a literature review that collates health-related data from a range of sources, including a report by the WHO (in 2003), which states that childhood cancers – particularly leukaemia - are ten times higher in Iraq than in other industrialised countries. Continue reading
while our many soldiers’ DU-related health problems is terrible enough on its own, we’ve also left Iraq covered in radioactive munitions fragments that, by the very virtue of having exploded, are essentially impossible to clean up. That is a huge, if overlooked, legacy of the United States’ wars in Iraq: Not only does Iraq have to deal with the physical toll of a decade-plus of war, it’s also been left with a huge, and ongoing, health crisis.
Video (skip the ad) America’s Terrible History of Depleted Uranium http://motherboard.vice.com/read/americas-terrible-history-of-depleted-uranium By Derek Mead 24 April 13, The United States has left its mark on Iraq in myriad ways in its two wars in the Persian Gulf, but one of the least-discussed is the effects of the US military’s use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. DU is a munitions designer’s dream: projectiles using DU alloys are armor-piercing and incendiary, which means it’s ideal for obliterating and burning tanks and other armored vehicles. But its use has left the Gulf’s battlefields blanketed with radioactive material.
DU is byproduct of the production of the enriched uranium used in nuclear reactors, and as such has relatively low levels of radiation. But Gulf War soldiers were regularly exposed to it, not least when DU used in munitions converted into an aerosol form after explosions. That means that Gulf War soldiers may have been exposed without realizing it, and has long been blamed for contributing to Gulf War Syndrome, Continue reading
Depleted Uranium: The BBC’s John Simpson does a hatchet job on Fallujah’s genetically damaged children by William Bowles http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/depleted-uranium-the-bbcs-john-simpson-does-a-hatchet-job-on-fallujahs-genetically-damaged-children-by-william-bowles/
Under the title ‘Fallujah’s children’s ‘genetic damage’ that old war horse ‘literally’ of the BBC’s foreign propaganda service, John Simpson, manages not to mention the phrase ‘depleted uranium’ when allegedly reporting on the alarming rise in birth defects that include cancer, leukaemia and a horrific rise in child mortality since the US demolished the city of Fallujah in 2004. And it’s not until right at the end of the piece that the US attack on Fallujah is even mentioned, let alone depleted uranium! Continue reading
‘Falluja Babies’ and Depleted Uranium — America’s Toxic Legacy in Iraq http://www.alternet.org/world/falluja-babies-and-depleted-uranium-americas-toxic-legacy-iraq Two US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tons of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes. March 18, 2013 |
Many prominent doctors and scientists contend that DU contamination is also connected to the recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal, and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.
There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.
Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing. Continue reading
USA, UK, France will not admit the growing radioactive pollution of Iraq, due to depleted uranium weapons
The health effects are disputed by the US and UK governments, who joined with France and Israel to vote against a resolution calling for “a precautionary approach” to the use of DU weapons at the United Nations general assembly in December; 155 countries voted in favour of the resolution.
Iraq’s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads Rob Edwards guardian.co.uk, 6 March 2013 Report says toxic waste is being spread by scrap metal dealers, and describes its ‘alarming’ use in civilian areas during Iraq wars Cleaning up more than 300 sites in Iraq still contaminated by depleted uranium (DU) weapons will cost at least $30m, according to a report by a Dutch peace group to be published on Thursday.
The report, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warns that the contamination is being spread by poorly regulated scrap metal dealers, including children. It also documents evidence that DU munitions were fired at light vehicles, buildings and other civilian infrastructure including the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in Baghdad – casting doubt on official assurances that only armoured vehicles were targeted. “The use of DU in populated areas is alarming,” it says, adding that many more contaminated sites are likely to be discovered.
More than 400 tonnes of DU ammunition are estimated to have been fired by jets and tanks in the two Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003, the vast majority by US forces. The UK government says that British forces fired less than three tonnes.
DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as wasteby the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armour. Continue reading
in Iraq, and Afghanistan, too, the idea of sicknesses related to depleted uranium does not seem in much doubt, from what we can tell. In Iraq, as we have reported many times, doctors are even advising women in certain areas not to have children because the chances of birth defects are so great
Depleted Uranium Receives More Attention , The Daily Bell
December 21, 2012
Mystery in Iraq – Are US Munitions to Blame for Basra Birth Defects? … The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently assembling a report on DU ammunition. It will reflect the current state of research on the issue, but it will hardly provide any new insights. With the help of the University of Greifswald, a cancer registry has been developed for the Basra region and will serve as the basis for all future study. Still, even as further research is needed, if only for the children’s sake, it will come too late for many. The guns have been silent in Iraq for years, but in Basra and Fallujah the number of birth defects and cancer cases is on the rise. Locals believe that American uranium-tipped munitions are to blame and some researchers think they might be right. – Der Spiegel
Dominant Social Theme: US munitions are harmless except to the bad guys.
Free-Market Analysis: The WHO (see above) is finally getting around to seeing if depleted uranium weapons used by NATO and the US are responsible for the many birth defects in Iraq. From what we can tell, the outcome will be a preordained “no.”
US officials, military or otherwise, have already ruled out the idea that depleted uranium dust could possibly be responsible for these birth defects or for US ailments that are much in dispute – having to do with immune deficiencies, etc. Continue reading
FallujahIraq: Crimes against Humanity. The Babies Will Haunt Us By Kelley B. Vlahos Global Research, December 18, 2012 antiwar.com It was like walking through a nightmare: drifting in an out of hospital rooms, down the long hallways, her contact with shock-ravaged Iraqi parents interrupted only by glimpses of their physically deformed and terminally sick babies who in many cases, would never see the outside of Fallujah’s main hospital, ever.
Then, the more than vague sense that she must apologize. The words thick like molasses were hard to form. “I felt inadequate,” said Donna Mulhearn. “What was so hard was, what do you say to these people other than saying sorry, which I said over and over again. You just wanted to offer more.”
Donna Mulhearn is a name we need to remember, as she is one of a small but dedicated group of citizen activists who, after most of us have said the long goodbye to Iraq in the rear-view mirror, are taking on the environmental and humanitarian legacy of the Iraq War as a personal cause. Right now, she is doing what the western mainstream has so far failed to do, which is report on the horrifying number of miscarriages, deaths, birth defects and congenital illnesses among babies in urban Fallujah, the site of some of the most intense U.S bombing (2004) during the war. Continue reading
Depleted Uranium to Blame for Iraqi Birth Defects? http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=5425 AMERICA – THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC WEEKLY , OCTOBER 16, 2012 by KEVIN CLARKE The U.S. military has consistently downplayed or denied possible adverse health and environmental effects because of its use of depleted uranium ordnance , yet birth defects and spikes in sometimes odd health problems seem to follow closely behind in communities unfortunate enough to have been the site of the heavy use of such munitions. U.S. and NATO forces used D.U. penetrator munitions in the 1991 Gulf War, the Bosnia war, Serbia and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Now in Fallujah, Iraq, the site of two rounds of intense fighting and bombing raids by U.S. forces in March and April 2004, a University of Michigan study (<-warning: not for faint of heart) funded by the World Health Organization has uncovered “staggering” increases in sometimes bizarre birth defects—babies born with brains and other organs outside their bodies—according to a report in Britain’s Independent . The study found that in Fallujah, more than half of all babies born between 2007 and 2010 suffered some kind of birth defect. “Before the siege, this figure was more like one in 10.” Continue reading
Iran spy chief says CIA had help killing nuclear scientists Accuses French and German intelligence services, after previously blaming U.K. and Israel CBC News, The Associated Press Jul 6, 2012 Iran’s spy chief on Friday accused French and German intelligence services of co-operating with the CIA to kill Iranian nuclear scientists, an allegation likelyto exacerbate tensions between Tehran and the West over the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program. Heidar Moslehi said that other intelligence services in the region — including that of Iran’s arch foe Israel — also took part in the alleged campaign targeting the scientists. Continue reading
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