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Gulf War Veterans

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken by his Department towards commissioning (a) endocrine studies and (b) genetics studies of Gulf War veterans; and if he will make a statement. (81625)

The Ministry of Defence is guided on its programme of research into Gulf veterans' illnesses by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and has undertaken studies into: the anthropology of “Gulf War Syndrome”, cancer, changing health, mortality/morbidity, neuromuscular symptoms, paraoxonase, reproductive health, testing for squalene in vaccines and vaccines interactions. I am aware of a concern on the part of the Gulf Veterans Association and National Gulf Veterans and Families Association that research should be undertaken on possible endocrine and/or genetics aspects of the illnesses experienced by veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf Conflict, as well as on the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. We are awaiting detailed proposals which we will then refer to the MRC for their independent advice on the case for the Department commissioning such research, taking account of research already being undertaken elsewhere.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent on research into Gulf War Syndrome, broken down by area of expenditure. (81626)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in another place on 22 June 2006, Official Report, column WA99 by my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement (Lord Drayson) to the noble Lord, Lord Morris of Manchester.