After the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to US President Obama, it became clear that this prize is totally political. Now, the same can be said for the UN’s World “Health” Organization. They recently published a study which claims that the use of depleted uranium in Iraq by US troops has not led to abnormally high levels of birth defects.
The study is so shoddy, that even a former UN official, Hans von Sponeck, felt obligated to comment: “I served in Baghdad and was confronted with the reality of the environmental impact of DU. In 2001, I saw in Geneva how a WHO mission to conduct on-spot assessments in Basra and southern Iraq, where depleted uranium had led to devastating environmental health problems, was aborted under US political pressure.”
It is also interesting how they managed to get the conclusions they wanted. One thing they did was simply not to look at hospital records. Rather, they interviewed the mothers. But as a critic explained: “the document focuses on interviews with mothers as a basis for diagnosis, many of whom are traumatised in this environment, their memories unreliable, and are not qualified to make diagnosis.”
There are conclusions that go beyond this particular issue: Studies can reach all sorts of conclusions, and we always should consider who paid for the study and how it was designed.
Categories: environment, Human health, war
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