Sunday, February 10, 2008

Britain's nuclear test veterans win major victory in battle for justice

British Nuke Victims get new medical study

EXCLUSIVE MoD to fund study into horror illnesses passed to veterans' children SUNDAY Mirror JUSTICE FOR NUKE VETS CAMPAIGN
By Vincent Moss And Susie Boniface 10/02/2008

News picturesBritain's nuclear test veterans have won a major victory in the battle for justice more than 50 years after they were exposed to crippling radiation.

Funding for an independent study into their health and that of their children and grandchildren has now been agreed in principle by Defence Minister Derek Twigg.

It is one of the key demands of troops who suffered terrible illnesses after being exposed to radiation during the tests in 50s and 60s in the Pacific - which in many cases led to inherited conditions including cancer and deformities in their children. And it follows a six-year Sunday Mirror campaign on behalf of the vets and a promise from PM Gordon Brown in November to take a fresh look at the issue.

The change of heart follows two studies - one in the UK showing British troops' offspring suffering inherited illnesses, the other from New Zealand revealing gene damage in that country's vets.

Mr Twigg has agreed to spend £412,000 on further investigation provided the two studies are confirmed to be credible by scientists scrutinising them. Campaigning MPs Dr Ian Gibson and John Baron hailed the MoD's statement as a "positive step forward".

But they still want Defence Secretary Des Browne and the PM to agree an immediate £4,000 "goodwill" payment to the veterans while more substantial compensation packages are considered.

Tory MP Mr Baron said campaigners would continue to push the MoD on a range of issues, including reform of the tribunal process and compensation.

Out of 22,000 troops who took part, only 3,000 remain alive. Their demands were boosted this month when the Government agreed payouts of about £8,000 to 360 vets who took part in chemical weapons tests.


Given the fact that 19,000 of the troops have died, it is about time that the British government is finally getting "around to it" and by the time the study is done, how many of the remaining 3000 survivors will still be alive? This is a voctory for who, the MOD because it sure isn't a victory for the veterans of the exposures is it?

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