Number 4 - “Callous governments then and now”
This is number 4 of a 15 part blog series, created by Mr Roy Sefton, Chair of the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association.
The document below illustrates the 1955 callous response of the British Prime Minster, Anthony Eden, to information on a committee's findings of the genetic effects following exposure to radiation on nuclear testing servicemen, and their off-spring.
The Prime Minister showed no concern and dismissed the genetic concerns saying,
“A pity, but we cannot help it”.
In 2007, 52 years later, New Zealand researchers studied the DNA of the NZ Operation Grapple veterans and found highly elevated genetic damage in them. That damage could only be attributed to their nuclear testing Grapple service.
Incredibly, since 2007, despite the findings of a Government initiated 'Ministerial Advisory Group' that supported the research methodology, and the findings of irradiation of the NZ servicemen, the NZ Government has never officially accepted the research findings.
NZNTVA has for over a decade, battled a mindset of political ignorance trying to get the Massey University research findings recognised by Government. With a new coalition government being formed, NZNTVA, and the lead cytogenetic researcher, Dr Al Rowland, in July 2018, met with Hon Ron Mark, Minister for Veterans. NZNTVA provided the minister with clear evidence that Government, in rejecting the Massey research findings, is acting on false information. We await Minister Mark's decision.
Roy Sefton QSM Chair New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association.