Gulf War Syndrome - A Reality


The chair of the UK's public inquiry into so-called Gulf War syndrome is to address a final review of research into the condition.

Evidence from both sides of the Atlantic will be put before the hearing, at the House of Lords.

The UK's independent public inquiry, headed by former law lord Lord Lloyd of Berwick, said in its final report last year that there was "every reason" to accept the existence of Gulf War syndrome.

Lord Lloyd's inquiry concluded that health problems suffered by an estimated 6,000 veterans were a direct result of their service in the 1991 conflict.

It found that illnesses suffered by the veterans were likely to be due to a combination of causes.

These included multiple injections of vaccines, the use of organophosphate pesticides to spray tents, low level exposure to nerve gas, and the inhalation of depleted uranium dust.

The inquiry called on the MoD to set up a special fund to make compensation payments to those veterans who had suffered because of their service in the war to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein.

James Binns, who chaired the US Research Committee inquiry into the Gulf War veterans' illnesses, will put evidence uncovered in the US before the hearing.
I can only hope that this 'fund' will adequately recompense those that have suffered - and their families. It will be interesting to see what the comparative worth of any award is in the UK and the US - if any.

Click here for full story from Sky News
Many of my friends who served their with me in 90-91 have not been the same since. Some found they were more succeptable to illness on their return and quite a few are affected physically in different ways (the sudden onset of epilepsy in one)> The amount of illnees also is out of proportion to their civilian couterparts per head of population.
I hope they get everything they deserve and much more, 14 years on and still nothing, MOD asswipes dragging their feet, this should been sorted quite a few years ago :evil:
Typical MoD. Happy to see Tommy off to do their dirty work but very slow to support him when things go wrong. I suspect that they have known about GWS for a long time and know the probable cause but can't afford to make it public due to public opinion.
I know it's long-ish, but well worth reading - particularly when you find out how much money the reserach actually cost!

MoD attacked over Gulf war syndrome

James Meikle, health correspondent
Wednesday April 13, 2005
The Guardian

Lord Lloyd, whose independent inquiry concluded that there was such a thing as Gulf war syndrome, accused the Ministry of Defence yesterday of being "worse than negative" in response to his report.
He said the government had "made no attempt to answer any of the important issues we raised", concentrating on "trivial" and "peripheral" points such as the anonymous financial backing for his inquiry.

Lord Lloyd and his colleagues had urged the MoD to start negotiations for one-off payments for up to 6,000 sick former and serving service personnel as the first stage of reconciliation with veterans who felt let down by government.

Although his inquiry's report did not ascribe a specific cause to the illnesses among veterans of the 1991 conflict, it found that many of those who returned from the Gulf were ill, and those who served were twice as likely to be ill as troops who served elsewhere.
"These two facts are indisputable. It seemed to us they deserved a response," he said.

His attack on the MoD came as the Liberal Democrats became the first party to promise to implement his report. Charles Kennedy told Lord Lloyd in a letter that he hoped "all political parties can now join in achieving a settlement on the basis you recommend".

But Ivor Caplin, the minister responsible for veterans, told Lord Morris of Manchester in a letter written last month that the government thought the recommendations "disappointing" and lacking substance.

The government could not understand how the inquiry could be called independent "without full transparency of its sponsorship and funding".

Mr Caplin also said that "our record of delivery since coming to power is good and our depth of knowledge about the ill-health reported by Gulf veterans is very different to the situation we inherited in 1997".

Lord Lloyd said the government had focused on points such as the funding of the inquiry "because they have no real answer to the criticisms".

"This should not be a party political issue - to do something for veterans who have been looking for something to be done for far too long."

His inquiry cost less than £56,000 and was funded by anonymous donors.
Given that the MoD wastes millions every day on bureaucracy; ill-advised and badly managed procurement projects; allowing senior officers to use their own budgets to provide staff cars and so on, aren't they being ever so slightly myopic abou this? :highly ironic wink smiley:

Typically tawdry, inept and weak response from the Ministry as usual.

Click here for full story from Guardian Online
The Labour Party election manifesto launched today highlights how much the present Govt has done for veterans. Although I gather this view was not shared by the Gulf War veterans and the British Legion at yesterday's meeting in Parliament about Lord Lloyd of Berwick's Gulf War Illness inquiry.

Full manifesto text HERE - from Guardian - pdf file.

Pledges on Armed Forces and Veterans at pages 43-44 of the pdf. Off-topic, but maybe someone would like to start a new thread and post the related text for information and discussion?

The Labour Party said:
We will never commit forces to battle unless it is essential; but when they are committed they will have the investment, strategy, training and preparation they need.

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