Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault - and Saskatchewan Uranium
Note: The largest single source of uranium for the US military is Saskatchewan, according to a 2008 article by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
In fact, Saskatchewan produces more uranium than any other region or country in the world. The Athabasca Basin region of Northern Saskatchewan (with a small area of Alberta) is the world's leading source of high grade uranium.
A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.
The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.
The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja's genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a 15% drop in births of boys.
"We suspect that the population is chronically exposed to an environmental agent," said one of the report's authors, environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. "We don't know what that environmental factor is, but we are doing more tests to find out."
The report identifies metals as potential contaminating agents afflicting the city – especially among pregnant mothers. "Metals are involved in regulating genome stability," it says. "As environmental effectors, metals are potentially good candidates to cause birth defects.
The findings are likely to prompt further speculation that the defects were caused by depleted uranium rounds, which were heavily used in two large battles in the city in April and November 2004. The rounds, which contain ionising radiation, are a core component of the armouries of numerous militaries and militias.
(See also: Chomsky on Fallujah cancer rates higher than Hiroshima)
see also International Campaign to Ban Depleted Uranium Weapons
NOTE: CANADA ABSTAINED FROM THE VOTE, US VOTED NO.
And closer to home, What about Port Hope? Are they actually producing Uranium?
"....In Port Hope, Ontario, Cameco's uranium conversion facility they release 120 kg or more of uranium into the air each year. The leadership admit that inhalation is most dangerous threat to health. The plant is on the lakefront, in the middle of town, so the release is into the town and lake...As for the question about CAMECO and current depleted uranium use, well that is the beauty of the system. No one knows. The US does not distinguish between DU from Canadian uranium and DU from other uranium sources. Whether Port Hope is still producing DU, that I cannot answer. Until there is transparency about this issue we will not have clear answers. I think it will eventually take someone to leak reliable information (ie. not misleading or false information) about the final locations of Canadian uranium to have answers.
Personally, I would propose there be a legal challenge against the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, and the mining giant CAMECO, for not exercising proper oversight on the uses of its uranium once it leaves Canada. Also to investigate if criminal charges are warranted against these governments and CAMECO if internal government records confirm the facility at Port Hope Ontario has been used to produce depleted uranium for US arms manufacturers.
It is easy to criticize other governments, banks etc. for malfeasance. However there seems to be less interest among some of the progressive community in Canada to go after the wrongs that we commit and things we can actually try to do something about.
Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.