[ RadSafe ] children of Gulf War vets (was Re: RadSafe Digest, Vol 769, Issue 1)

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Wed Oct 12 16:47:32 CDT 2011

If you are going to take excerpts from someone's post, you should either include the entire thing, or leave the original of others to look at.  Otherwise it is too easy to lose the thread of conversation, or to inadvertently change someone's meaning.  

As I said, even if you demonstrate a higher rate of congenital anomalies, demonstrating a causal relationship with a single, or even several factors is much harder, and requires more than citing a 50 year old paper.  If you had studies showing that the vets whose children suffered from anomalies had higher uranium burdens than a control group of vets whose children did not have such problems, you would be started on your way, though not there, yet.  A model of how the two are linked would also be good.  It would also be useful to establish the uranium burden of parents whose children suffer similar anomalies, but who were not vets (the parents, obviously) and had never been to the Gulf.  These things might move your contention closer to "proven" and farther away from "not disproven yet", which are not the same thing.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of James Salsman
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 3:15 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] children of Gulf War vets (was Re: RadSafe Digest, Vol 769, Issue 1)

Mike Brennan wrote:

>... If you are going to claim that Gulf War vets father children
> with a significant increase in congenital anomalies, that's one
> thing.  It can be shown with statistics....

For mothers, as well, as the Department of Veterans Affairs has
repeatedly shown:

"Dr. Kang found that male Gulf War veterans reported having infants
with likely birth defects at twice the rate of non-veterans.
Furthermore, female Gulf War veterans were almost three times more
likely to report children with birth defects than their non-Gulf
counterparts... with medical records verification... birth defects in
children of deployed male veterans was about 2.2 times that of
non-deployed veterans." -- Department of Veterans Affairs (2003). "Q's
& A's – New Information Regarding Birth Defects" Gulf War Review 12(1)
p. 10: http://web.archive.org/web/20060929095251/http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/GulfWarNov03.pdf

> On the other hand, if you say...uranium is the cause, then you
> need to show that you have excluded all other possibilities

Really?  How about showing that uranium is a teratogen as Maynard
first showed in 1949 and confirmed in 1950-1? It's been repeatedly
confirmed in the literature since, but never in health professionals'
testimony before Congress or anyone else on depleted uranium weaponry,
as far as I can tell. I would love to be proven wrong. The VA has
never proposed any alternative teratogens to explain the increase in
deployed soldiers' cancers and kids' birth defects.

Science and policy are often at odds, which is too bad. Policy should
be based on science.

James Salsman
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