Combined Veterans' Forum International report 0219.
Complied by Dennis Hayden - Nuclear Test Veteran , former RAF Junior Technician at Maralinga 1965 to 66 in support of all who took part in the UK nuclear weapon test experiments 1952 to 67 and their families.
AN HISTORIC POLITICALLY MOTIVATED SCHISM IN SCIENCE USING EPIDEMIOLOGY TO UNDERMINE RADIATION INDUCED GENETIC DAMAGE HAS TAKEN PLACE SINCE THE 1960's.
Like many surviving nuclear veterans I have received recently an invitation to take part in a cytogenetic blood test study by Dr Rhona Anderson , the UK's leading cytogenticist ,of Brunel University , London . The methodology is being co-ordinated in collaboration with Professor Julian Peto, an epidemiologist of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine . This invitation was accompanied by an interesting and revealing nine page Information and Consent Form giving details of the purpose , the organisation and the methology of:
The Nuclear Community Charity Fund (NCCF) Chromosomal Study
Nuclear veterans have found there exists historically a wide schism between epidemiologists and cytogeneticists in the interpretation of damage induced by radiation . For reasons expressed in this letter the epidemiological 'collaboration' a cytogenetic study is liable to have a negative and biased impact upon the conclusions in any final report .
This is a fact experienced by nuclear test veterans and families over many decades of research into their mortality and the links to their premature deaths .
Cytogenetics is known, admired and respected by nuclear veterans as an advanced diagnostic technology with the capability of showing elevated chromosomal translocations and aberrations induced by exposure to radiation .
In data and archive documents compiled by nuclear veterans, this expertise has been seen to have been used by UK Medical Research Council and other scientists here and abroad since, at least, the 1960's to monitor nuclear veterans and nuclear workers damage by radiation by the dosage of induced that is inhaled ingested gamma radiation into the body.
We nuclear veterans underpin evidence of radiation damage in our DNA and have been lied to for years, mainly by epidemiologists. We knew nothing about the truth seeking branch of cytogenetic blood testing until about the late 1990's. Thanks for the internet we found out very quickly!
We also understand, from our accumulated archives etc, that the many benefits of research in the UK by cytogenetics has been used by successive governments, not for the benefit of early diagnosis and remedial treatments of radiation damage in veterans, their children and grandchildren but for the eyes of government academics only.
We consider this a key failure of government and the MoD. Nuclear veterans and families are owed a duty of care since these loyal servicemen returned from participation at UK nuclear sites. This cohort of persons exposed to ionising radiation have received do help. The MoD have treated us as research subjects not openly and transparently but almost always in a clandestine manner to avoid any accountability.
Our archive search has found cytogenetic experts are not at fault in the culture of deception and denial which has led to a lack of trust in the reasons given for the research. This is the legacy of dogmatic government policy we find ourselves in the impasse of today.
Historical records held by nuclear veterans and others, including academics here and abroad, confirm our lack of trust in government is primarily due to epidemiologists who have perverted government funded mortality studies and also cytogenetic studies to a bias that ill health is not attributable to radiation exposure. All this being done, by the way, using a vast quantity to tax payers' money.
Historic references in the Addendum to this letter show this research has been done for political reasons to avoid accountability and responsibility for the duty of care owed to the nuclear veteran community.
The NCCF chromosomal study's methodology sets alarm bells ringing.
Alarm bells are ringing in the ears of nuclear veterans for the NCCF study because the study is being undertaken in collaboration with epidemiologist, Professor Julian Peto of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This alarm is expressed for reasons below and in the historic references to the use of epidemiology, as a bias to scientific truth, in the supporting addendum to this letter.
As a married nuclear veteran, without children, it is noted, from the nine page Information / Consent sheets enclosed in the NCCF letter, that I'm excluded from the study. The study is for trios of veterans, spouses or partners, and conceived children. Nevertheless the information sent is very much appreciated as an explanation and confirmation of the inadequacy of methodology being used to prevent any bias.
Cytogenetics has already shown those who took part in nuclear weapon sites have a significant increase of chromosomal translocations and aberrations than veterans who did not take part.
The study in any event is of little consequence to myself and other child-less surviving veterans because the advanced technology of cytogenetics has already shown elevated chromosomal translocations in veterans who attended the 1952 to 1967 UK nuclear weapon test experiments.
The successful, meticulous and well controlled New Zealand Professor Al Rowland's cytogenetic study of 50 NZ nuclear veterans compared with the blood of 50 veterans of similar age and life style habits (such as smoking etc) who had not attended any nuclear test location was peer reviewed in 2008.
The Rowland study showed the nuclear veterans had a significant 3 times increase in translocations of chromosomes than veterans who had not attended a nuclear test location.
The NCCF study is taking a similar 'meticulous' control path using 50 trios of military families with no connection to attending a nuclear test location. But this will not, in the schism of scientific truth that exists, prevent political bias of this study by any so called 'expert' panel nominated by government. (see references below and in the addendum of references to this letter.)
The general public and others with little scientific knowledge (like myself who left school at 16 attaining only 'O' Level Biology) will be interested no doubt to know conclusions of the NCCF study. But they, and others, will have nothing much to say about the figures because the standard practice in these matters is to deny any link to radiation, even if peer reviewed, and use of the results will be for the 'eyes of academics only'.
We have reason to ask why such a study not been been carried out earlier on any person potentially exposed ionising radiation without of course muddling by epidemiologists ? The answer we have found is simple :
Whosoever pays the piper, calls the tune.
At vast expense to the taxpayer of course!
The NZ Rowland cytogenetic study of 2008 , affirmed in a report by Dr Rhona Anderson to Rosenblatts solicitors of London, was 'meticulous' in all its methodology.
But this ground -breaking study had the added one significant benefit: it was totally independent of UK government and Ministry of Defence interference. The study was paid almost entirely by the New Zealand Nuclear Veterans Association and by public subscription with the methodology out of control of the hands of government, Alarm bells rang in this instance also but only in the corridors of UK government and the MoD.
However, after publication and 'peer review', politicians in New Zealand put a sledgehammer through the efficacy of the Rowland cytogenetic study by use of what became known as 'The Expert Panel'.
Panel of so-called experts undermine cytogenetic science.
This so-called panel of 'experts' did not even include cytogeneticist ! By use of epidemiology the positive impact of significant genetic damage found was diminished for political reasons.
However, not all academics in UK were fooled by this scientific vandalism against Professor Rowland's cytogenetic work. In June 2009 Mr Justice Foskett (at the High Court in London) in summary of his decision to allow all nuclear veteran litigation group cases, led by Rosenblatts, to proceed to individual case hearings stated; "The prime causal link to ill health of nuclear veterans is fallout and the Rowland Study is 'crucial and pivotal evidence'".
The NCCF study will be undermined and biased because the epidemiologist collaborating in the study has strong connections with the Ministry of Defence.
Referring to the 9 page NCCF Information document at page one nuclear veterans have noted the statement :
"we need blood samples from both parents to determine whether any chromosomal changes in the child are also seen in the father and mother"
This of course is a gift for epidemiologists to cast doubt which is their historic role in past decades regarding nuclear veteran studies (see supporting references in particular regarding epidemiologist Professor Peto's chairmanship of the October 2007, cross party Parliamentary Inquiry (Nuclear Veterans).
Professor Julian Peto is named in the NCCF information sheet page 2, as the co-ordinator and collaborator of the study. This is unacceptable in view of his biased chairmanship of the PIq (Nuc Vets) in 2007 and his close ties to the Ministry of Defence.
This connection confirms a belief that any meaningful help to the nuclear veterans and families will be buried deeply in government archives for the eyes of academics only and will not be seen for many years by nuclear historians, nor by the public.
The withholding and withdrawal of files relating to radiation.
(see reference January 2019 CNN report "Review or Cover Up? Mystery as Australian nuclear weapon test files are withdrawn"):
The above report confirms the aim of the UK and Australian Governments is to conceal documents connected to the nuclear tests and other nuclear issues, industry, waste storage etc for long enough (30, 50, 100 years or more!) from historians and other academics in order, it has been suggested, to prevent access to data helpful to the claims of nuclear veterans families and others with interest in this subject.
This is no surprise to nuclear veterans and families. Every effort made in the last decade, even by FOI questions, to gain access to this infomation for the help of widows and families has been met by a wall of silence and denial.
The 11 January 2019 CNN report (in the above link) states many researches are shocked to find scores of files have been removed from national archives.
Alan Owen , chairman of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association is reported as saying :
"The removal of these documents not only affects our campaign , but it affects the many academic organisations that rely on this material."
"We are concerned that the documents will not be published and the Ministry of Defence will again deny responsibility for the effects the tests have had on our membership."
Jonathan Agar, a Professor of Science and Technology at the Univeristy of London said:
"It is not several records but two whole classes of files many of which have previously been open to researchers at the national archives (at Kew)."
A 'Final solution' to avoid the truth ?
Some files according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) are to be removed to the far distant northern tip of Scotland to a new archive called - 'Nucleus'.
For nuclear test veterans and families this suggests the Ministry of Defence have embarked upon a 'final solution' similar to the 1940's 'holocaust' as a means to bury the truth of their betrayal of loyal servicemen. It appears to be a move to prevent information helpful to nuclear veteran campaigns from ever seeing the light of day.
The withdrawing of such information from research academics appears similar to the 'kristal nacht' destruction of books by the National Socialist government of Germany in the 1930's. Nuclear Veterans over decades have found the government and MoD to be regressive in their treatment of former servicemen, this current news is confirmation they are continuing with their historic dogma of avoiding accountability and responsibility to provide a duty of care.
The NCCF study may be part of the dogmatic determination, by a 'final solution', to deny nuclear veterans any justice in their lifetimes.
The NCCF study - another waste of tax payers' money ?
The conclusions of findings of any cytogenetic report with the methodology including epidemiological input will dilute the findings because the most heavily irradiated i.e. the most genetically damaged nuclear veteran fathers are now almost all dead. Those who may be surviving at this date are inevitably ones with less genetic damage than the many who have died prematurely in the past. Especially those who died in the 60's and 70's from leukaemia within 15 years of returning from these locations.
From archive data held by the Combined Veterans Forum Internationl (CVFI), and veterans of the BNTVA (prior to becoming a charity), and other surviving veterans self funded and acting as independent searchers for the truth here, in Australia and New Zealand three main situations, of many know instances to nuclear veterans, relevant to the subject of this letter are:
1) The death of veterans in the last decades who were fathers of significantly genetically damaged children are conveniently unable to participate in the study.
2) Veterans who committed suicide after returning from a nuclear weapon test location who fathered genetically damaged children are also conveniently, for the MoD, unable to participate in the study.
3) The large numbers of veterans who returned as young men to civilian life sterile. Men who, several years later in the 70's and 80's, subsequently fathered genetically damaged children are now many dead and buried.
All the above is convenient for epidemiologists to muddy the conclusions of the NCCF study methodology.
The above begs the question will the NCCF study even include children born before the nuclear veteran fathers participation in the nuclear weapon experiments and compare their chromosomal damage with any conceived and born after return from these locations?
It is to be noted the degree of translocation breaks in chromosomes does not indicate the exact legacy illness that may result. That is, the legacy of ill health from the breaks of chromosomes is said to vary from individual to individual and it is more of a lottery of life or death dependent on where the breaks occur which contribute to the variation and type of health damage. This again is a gift for epidemiologists.
The ability of the body's immune system to repair damage may explain why some who returned sterile after several years may later have fathered children who are genetically impaired. The human body is a remarkable creation of evolution. It is said we evolved with an internal skeleton of bone within which marrow, producing new blood for circulation, is afforded some degree of protection from radiation.
This evolved casing of bone deep inside the body of course is said to give some protection from normal background radiation radiation present on this wonderful planet on which we all live. However no factor of the human body's evolvement over millennia could of course be expected to deal with the inhalation or ingestion of man-made radioisotopes, alpha, beta in fall out and gamma radiation released on detonation. It is known some of this radioactive isotopic fall out seeks and binds to bone, organs and tissue once inside the body to act as internal emitters. (see references to the CERRIE committee).
If any epidemiologists, in denial of low dose radiation hazard, doubts the truth it can be quickly resolved. Just ask him or her to drink afternoon tea from a pot known to contain an invisible to the eye quantity of low level, low dose alpha radiation polonium 210!
The NRPB, after being discredited and under its new name the Health Protection Agency (HPA), in 2009, following the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, assured the public in London, this type of radiation is not harmful unless it is 'inhaled or ingested into the body'.
The NRPB however peddled the lie that men who worked in an environment of low dose nuclear weapon test isotopic fall out, without any protective clothing or respirators for months, did not inhale or ingest anything at all harmful.
The NCCF study will undoubtedly bring additional scientific facts to the mass of nuclear veteran legacy ill health already known by government. This is even more to be locked archives, additional to nuclear veterans experiments including the removal of body parts in post mortems to analyse blood, organs bone and tissue as revealed by the Redfern Report of 2010.
However. on page 4 of the NCCF Information Sheet (regarding the expected benefits) it states:
"We cannot promise that taking part in this study will help you, but your participation will give valuable information."
This single sentence explains all !
It is the perfect epitaph for the graves stones of veterans who loyally served the nation during the cold war at the nuclear weapon test experiments . An epitaph confirming the men were and remain experimental subjects. The 'valuable information' will of course be of no benefit to them or their families.
Experiments conducted for the benefit of research purposes for government, experiments ignoring any help to the prematurely deceased, the surviving veterans with genetic damage and legacy ill health and their widows, spouses and partners, and resulting genetically damaged children. Experiments followed by a breach of the military covenant to provide a duty of care, experiments that are a shocking indictment of deception and bad faith.
The historic record (see supporting references) shows for future generations the flawed profession of epidemiology will enable the scientific certitude of advanced cytogenetic findings to be biased in any final report. This precedent of deception has already been set by the treatment given to the Rowland study.
We surviving nuclear veterans know the comments made in this letter are regarded as 'vexatious' by dogmatic government officials most of whom were never born whilst the veterans were inhaling and ingesting radiation.
The Ministry of Defence treat nuclear veterans as a contemptible irritation. We are not concerned to be regarded as ' old contemptibles' because it is the same badge of honour worn by our grandfathers who fought in the trenches of the First World War. We, like them, will never give in.
With each passing day it becomes less of a concern to us because what else can be expected from those in contempt of the truth? What governments fear most is the inevitability of the maxim: all truth at first is ridiculed, then (particularly in science) it is vehemently denied (by epidemiologists and others) but finally (due to cytogenetics, ethics, and public awareness) it becomes self-evident.
Each time epidemiologists make any comment or conclusion concerning radiation damage to health we nuclear veterans are more confident than ever, as the years go by, that they are lying. More and more academics and the public are reaching the same conclusion each year.
The science of cytogenetics and those who work in it, such as Dr DH Evans in to 60's, 70's and 80's and Professor Rowland in 2008, deserve a greater appreciation of the truth they and others are revealing with every victim of radiation blood tested to detect radiation induced genetic damage.
We believe it is important that as many people as possible made aware that his branch of science cannot be trusted by nuclear veterans and families or indeed anyone else. In this regard I'm speaking for many of my prematurely deceased comrades who participated in the nuclear test experiments and have paid the ultimate penalty for the lies and fabrication of truth epidemiology has manipulated.
With kind regards to any reader of this report for the interests of the truth in nuclear history please pass copy to any person who may be interested in this subject .
Founder of the Combined Veterans' Forum International ( 2002 )
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
In support of all nuclear veterans who attended UK nuclear test locations, including our combined service Commonwealth allies from Australia, New Zealand and other nations. In support of truth and justice.
Some references used to support the content of the above letter listed the following Addendum are taken from the CVFI Report to the Scottish Parliament - "A chronological timetable of scientific and other events from 1945 to 2014" (commenced 2011- updated at May 2014) - a detailed chronological account of the betrayal of nuclear veterans. Other comments are from archive documents held by nuclear veterans internationally. There is still much more that could be said.
Early academic concerns about nuclear test fall out ....
1951 - Eminent biologist Professor Alex Haddow, Director of the Chester Beatty Research Institute, the Royal Cancer Hospital, London wrote to Government about concerns of himself and other biologists who were 'anxious' about the impact on health of fall out from nuclear weapon testing.
Eminent biologists at the time were not happy with the silence on the subject of their concerns from physicists of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) regarding the hazards to health from radiation. Professor Haddow wrote to the Director Sir John Cockcroft:
" In the present case of course one realises that risks to the population may be minimal, but one has in mind not the state of affairs to-day but what may it be in in fifty years time?"
Professor Haddow finished his letter:
"One thing does quite frankly terrify me, namely the appearance of morale committees and stooges whose only job appears to be to provide the "right" answers and avoid anything in the nature of unpleasantness . All we require are the facts."
The biological hazard Professor Haddow was concerned about eventually began to emerge by cytogenetic analysis of the blood of persons exposed which definitively indicated genetic damage .....
1969 to 79 - Dr DH Evans et al of the Medical Research Unit (Edinburgh) "Radiation Induced Chromosome Aberrations in Nuclear Dockyard Workers". A 10 year annual blood test analysis of nuclear workers which found chromosome damage even at dose below 5 rems (50msv) per annum. The research also found that as dose increased above 50msv annually the genetic damage also increased.
1983 - Dr DH Evans followed the above 10 year study by a cytogenetic blood test of a nuclear veteran and found significant genetic damage. He asked the Ministry of Defence in London to sanction a wider analysis of nuclear veterans blood. This was rejected by the MoD in favour of mortality studies, without blood tests, by epidemiologists working for the NRPB.
(Note : None of the above came into the hands of nuclear veterans until a decade or so ago.)
I984 - The Black Report into significant leukaemia found in children living close to Sellafield nuclear plant concluded, by epidemiology:
"the increase in leukaemia is so huge it cannot be due to radiation, some other factor may be the cause" .
This dreadful 'whitewash' caused widespread exasperation in the press, in science and in the public. A politician however expressed a forthright view that even nuclear test veterans could not find better suited the conclusions of epidemiology !
Charles Haughhey, former Irish Prime Minister got straight to the point:
"If a high incidence of leukaemia in any area where a nuclear plant is situated , surely to God the obvious interpretation is that the plant was responsible for it. These figures alone would, in my view, justify closing the plant immediately for further investigation and certainly putting a lot of people into prison who have clearly been telling lies over the past four or five years about this matter."
However the lies and denial continued and were beginning to be recognised as such.
Eminent statistician finds significant genetic deformity in nuclear veterans children.....
1991 - Academic Clair Marie Fortin of the Centre for Industrial Safety and Health independently analysed the figures of eminent statistician John Urquart's BNTVA data which showed significant elevated genetic deformities and illnesses in the health records of nuclear veterans' children. Ms Fortin concluded this is enough to "set alarm bells ringing in government".
1996 - A report for Nato by a British Colonel confirmed low level radiation (LLR) exposure to soldiers "is a long term health risk with additional risks that may occur are teretogenesis and mutagenesis and associated psychological and social consequences .The hazard of LLR may be alpha , beta or gamma radiation".
Nuclear veterans begin to understand and in New Zealand they took control of the science..
1999 - A New Zealand political party leader, Winston Peters, helping New Zealand nuclear veterans who took part in UK nuclear weapon tests to get cytogenetic blood tests, was warned at a meeting by the British High Commissioner that "any help to NZ veterans would be regarded as an unfriendly act by the UK government" .
This did not stop the NZNTVA commencing the cytogenetic study of 50 nuclear veterans by world renown cytogeneticist Professor Rowland of Massey University.
The undermining of a UK Scientific Committee looking into internal emitters is deplored by a Government Minister ....
2004 - UK Environment Minister, Michael Meacher MP, in the foreword of the Committee Examining Radiation Risk of Internal Emitters - Minority Report 2004 wrote:
" Science can only be trusted if it is pursued with utmost rigorous procedures, that guarantee freedom from bias."
This was a reference to the exclusion, by threats from Government lawyers, of the views of independent scientific experts in the committees final report.
In the same year at a conference Dr Keith Baverstock (a former Head of the Radiation Protection Division of the World Health Organisation) in Edinburgh said:
"From a scientific point of view and contrary to the claims made by the NRPB [Epidemiological Studies of Nuclear Veterans Mortality in the 70's and 80's] this shortfall [of accurate records made availble, lack of dosimitry et ] raise a serious flaw in methodology ...it is clear that the science and associated ethics have been perverted for political aims. It is sad the NRPB, who should be an independent and technically competent body, was complicit in this process."
Epidemiologist Professor Peto manipulates the cross - party Political Inquiry into Nuclear Veterans claims ........
2007 - in October a cross party Parliamentary Inquiry (Nuc Vets) was held in a room at the House of Commons. This was chaired by Dr Julian Peto now co-ordinator of the NCCF study. On the second day of the PIq (Nuc Vets) the time in the morning was allocated for a discussion of the newly published Rowland blood test cytogenetic study of 50 New Zealand Nuclear Veterans. Instead the allocated time was changed to a presentation by two scientists from the discredited NRPB talking about the significantly flawed, discredited and biased epidemiological mortality studies of the 1980's and 90's. Added to the manipulation of the PIq (Nuc Vets) the Chairman Dr Peto was seen during the Inquiry travelling frequently backwards and forwards to the Ministry of Defence Buildings opposite.
Panel of so-called 'experts' commissioned by NZ government bias cytogenetic study of nuclear veterans blood .....
2008 - The Rowland study was peer reviewed and Rosenblatt Solicitors, acting on behalf of the Nuclear Veterans Litigation Group, had an independent analysis of the study by Dr Rhona Anderson, who had attended the PIq (Nuc Vets) and expressed the need to do a further study using mBand rather than mFish cytogenetics. Professor Anderson gave reassurance to Rosenblatts that the methodology used by Professor was 'meticulous' in every detail.
With regard to the peer review of the Rowland study it appears that the warning given to Winston Peters NZ party leader in 1999 that any help to NZ nuclear veterans would be regarded as an 'unfriendly' act by the UK now initiated a political response.
The NZ government set up what become known as the Expert panel to advise the government whether or not to compensate veterans who had participated in the UK weapon tests. This so called 'expert' panel did not include a cytogenetic scientist and produced a report with an epidemiological vague conclusion that damaged chromosomes are not an indicator of damage by radiation.
This bias, as with the NRPB studies of the 70's and 80's, can be said to have been biased for political aims. That is to deny compensation to nuclear veterans and families.
2012 - By way of Freedom of Information questions data of radiation levels and individual dose received have been found, at a First Tier FOI tribunal hearing to be kept in a file by a contractual MoD partner (the AWE) but are not permitted access by authority of the MoD Freedom of Information team to be released.
Dosimeter readings capped to record lower reading only...
The issue of individual dosimeters has been found to be limited to just a tiny percentage of servicemen who worked in the ground zero of detonations (like all servicemen without protective clothing and respirators). They were told if the QFE dosimeter they carried exceeded 7 roentgens they were to immediately leave the area, It has been found that the dosimeters issued to them were only able to record a reading set at a maximum of 5 roentgens (50msv). Any higher dosage received per hour was therefore capped at the maximum of 50msv.
Nuclear veterans have good reason historically to believe any evidence of genetic damage found by cytogenetic means will be ignored or diminished by epidemiologists. The only beneficiary of research will be for government to add it to the results to all previous undertaken on veterans since the nuclear weapon tests. This also includes the admitted removal of organs, bone and tissue in clandestine post mortems on deceased nuclear veterans (The Redfern Report 2010 - Tissue Analysis at UK Nuclear Facilities).
Nothing will be done for the benefit nuclear veterans, their widows or children until there is a change in policy and ethics towards the nuclear veteran community. We are still awaiting politicians to stand up for truth and justice within the science of radiation risk from induced radiation.
This report is written without prejudice to any past , present of future litigation. The content is supported by archive and other documents held by nuclear veterans internationally. In the interests of truth and freedom of information any recipient of this report is free to pass it to any third person and the writer reserves the right, in a democratic state, to circulate this report internationally in support of the truth.
Legal Advisor to the CVFI is Ian Anderson, Scottish International Advocate and Attorney ( New York ) --------------CVFI Report 02.19