MoD Scandal: MoD is target in battle over ‘cancer shell’

HeadLine: MoD Scandal: MoD is target in battle over ‘cancer shell’
testing

The Mirror, 21/02/2001, p2
by SHAUN MILNE

THE MoD was last night under increasing pressure to stop the test
firing of depleted uranium shells in south west Scotland.
Campaigners called for the ban after the MoD restarted target practice
on the Solway Firth at Dundrennan despite fears that the weapons could
cause cancer.
It is the first time the weapons have been tested since a UN report
sparked concerns over the DU shells.
Protestors described the move as “unacceptable”, and claim their
environment will be polluted.
And local MP and MSP Alasdair Morgan yesterday renewed calls shelling
to be suspended until a screening programme is set up for military
personnel and civilians.
The SNP member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale said: “I would also
like to see a commitment to looking at the feasibility of removing the
shells that are there.
“This is a quiet area – people don’t get up and go on protest marches
and the like, but concern has hardened over the last few years with the
realisation of the nature of the DU weapons.
“The MoD’s attitude is that they are right and everyone else is wrong,
and how dare anyone question what they are doing if they want to test
these shells and leave the debris in the Solway?
“I don’t think littering the area in that kind of fashion is any way to
be carrying on in this day and age.”
Kathleen Glass, chairman of Dundrennan Community Council, said feeling
against the shells had strengthened following reports of DU-related
illnesses during the Gulf and Balkan wars.
She said: “The ears pricked up when people heard about the DU
connection.
“We are looking for health screening to be offered to civilians
employed on the range so they can have that extra reassurance.”
A number of servicemen have claimed they became seriously ill with
Balkan War syndrome after they were exposed to depleted uranium.
Yesterday’s testing was routine and poses no health hazard, an MoD
spokeswoman said.
“This is routine testing which was planned before any of the recent
scares,” he said.
“We are testing the accuracy of the shells by firing them against soft
targets and the alleged health risks occur when the shells are fired at
hard targets, like tanks.”

**



Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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