- Recently, I received an intriguing email claiming that
the rapidly increasing worldwide epidemic of diabetes was caused by depleted
uranium (DU). As a medical doctor I never heard of such an idea. Every
physician knows that radiation can lead to cancer, but the DU and diabetes
connection seemed ludicrous. Nevertheless, I thought it would be interesting
to check it out on the Internet.
- The best tool for medical research on the Net is the
PubMed website sponsored by the US National Library of Medicine. I typed
in the keywords: depleted uranium and diabetes. No citations to scientific
papers in the medical journals appeared on my computer screen, which further
assured me there was no scientific connection. Even when I used key words
- depleted uranium and human disease - only a mere 16 papers were cited
on the subject from 1994 to 2005; and only half these papers addressed
the medical problems of soldiers exposed to DU in the Gulf War.
- What was revealed is that DU accumulates in lymph nodes,
brain, testicles, and other organs, and the short term and long term effects
of DU were not known. There was a definite increase of birth defects in
the offspring of persons exposed to DU; and Gulf War vets who inhaled DU
were still excreting abnormal amounts of uranium in the urine 10 years
- Why was there so little written about DU and its effects
on the human body? Having written extensively on the man-made epidemic
of AIDS and its cover-up for two decades, I was not surprised. I strongly
suspected research into the health effects of DU on Gulf War veterans was
"politically incorrect." On the other hand, a quick Google Internet
search of - "side effects" + "depleted uranium" - referred
me to 71,000 English pages on the web. When I added the key word "diabetes"
there were 22,000 pages.
- I also discovered that articles about the health dangers
of DU rarely, if ever, appear in the major media. In a January 2001 press
release FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) accused the media of
"depleted coverage of depleted uranium weapons." Nevertheless,
a great deal of information on DU can be found on the Internet.
- DU was first used by the US in the 1991 Gulf War, then
in the Balkans in the late 1990s, in Kosovo in 2000, in the war against
Afghanistan, in Iraq in 2003, and also by the Israelis in the 2006 war
with Lebanon. Needless to say, US military and government officials totally
deny any health danger from DU. A reassuring New York Times article of
9 January 2001 entitled "1999 U.S. document warned of depleted uranium
in Kosovo" by Marlise Simons, noted "while acknowledging the
hazards, both the Pentagon and NATO, pointing to medical experts, have
denied any links could exist between exposure to depleted uranium and the
illness and deaths of veterans."
- DU weapons were developed by the US Navy in 1968, and
were first given to Israel by the US in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Since
then, the US has tested, manufactured and sold DU weapons systems to 29
countries. Vieques Island, a testing site in Puerto Rico, was repeatedly
bombarded with DU in 1999 prior to its use in Kosovo.
- DU is a byproduct of the enriching of natural uranium
for use in nuclear reactors. As nuclear waste, DU is costly to keep but
relatively inexpensive to obtain. Due to their tank armour-piercing capabilities,
DU weapons are extremely effective and the reason why the military is so
enthralled with them.
- Depleted Uranium Whistleblowers
- Major Doug Rokke is a leading DU expert who has become
a whistleblower against its use. He claims each tank round is composed
of 10 pounds of solid uranium-238 contaminated with plutonium, neptunium,
and americium. The round is pyrophoric, meaning it generates intense heat
on impact, easily penetrating a tank because of the heavy weight of the
metal. When DU munitions hit, they produce a firestorm inside any vehicle
or structure, resulting in devastating burns and injuries to those who
escape immediate death and incineration.
- On impact, DU produces uranium oxide dust and pieces
of uranium explode all over the place. Once inside the body the tiny nanoparticles
enter the lungs and blood stream and are carried throughout the body. When
Rokke and his team were assigned to "clean up" the DU after the
first Gulf War, all his men got ill within 72 hours with respiratory problems,
rashes, bleeding, and open sores. In an Australian interview with Gay Alcorn
in 2003, Rokke admitted: "After everything I've seen, everything I've
done, it became very clear to me that you can't take radioactive wastes
from one nation and just throw it into another nation. It's wrong. It's
- According to Asaf Durakovic MD of the Uranium Medical
Research Centre in Washington DC, the term "depleted uranium"
is a misnomer. Both "depleted" and "natural" uranium
are over 99% composed of uranium 238. DU is almost as highly concentrated
as pure uranium and may contain plutonium (a deadly element) in trace amounts.
- Leuren Moret is an independent American scientist who
works on radiation and health issues with communities around the world.
At age 61, she is the leading activist against the use of DU, having worked
in two nuclear weapons labs, including the Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory in Berkeley, California, run by the US Department of Energy.
She is the ultimate antigovernment whistleblower on DU, along with Rokke
and Durakovic, and all three have personally suffered (including death
threats) for their anti-DU views.
- In her article "Depleted uranium: The Trojan Horse
of nuclear war," which appeared in the June 2004 World Affairs Journal,
Moret claims: "The use of DU weaponry by the US, defying all international
treaties, will slowly annihilate all species on Earth including the human
species, and yet this country continues to do so with full knowledge of
its destructive potential."
- DU travels. DU radioactive particles are picked up by
the atmosphere and are transferred by wind storms and air currents. They
permanently contaminate vast regions and slowly destroy the genetic future
of populations living in those areas. As the Trojan Horse of nuclear war,
Moret calls DU "the weapon that keeps on killing." There is no
way to turn it off - and no way to clean it up. It meets the US government's
own definition of "weapons of mass destruction."
- Depleted Uranium over the United Kingdom
- DU has a very high affinity for cellular DNA and permanently
damages it. DU is the "fourth generation" of nuclear weapons.
First came the atomic bomb, then the hydrogen bomb, then neutron bombs,
and now DU. Moret claims the contaminated DU-dust from the Middle East
gets absorbed into the atmosphere. Via dust storms and air currents it
ends up in Europe and Britain. Eventually it spreads and get absorbed into
the atmosphere globally. There is no safe place; no possible way to escape
- Moret's concerns are confirmed by a 2006 report from
England by Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan, appearing in European Biology
and Bioelectromagnetics and titled "Did the use of Uranium weapons
in Gulf War 2 result in contamination of Europe?" Data (obtained with
the help of the Freedom of Information Act) from the Atomic Weapons Establishment
at Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK, revealed that after nine days of the "shock
and awe" start of the Iraq war on 19 March 2003, much higher levels
of uranium were picked up on five sites in Berkshire. On two occasions,
levels exceeded the threshold at which the Environment Agency must be informed,
though still within safety limits. These levels were the highest levels
of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain. The report
also confirmed weather conditions over this war period, which showed a
consistent flow of air from Iraq northwards.
- Not surprisingly this research was vigorously denied
as "uranium of natural origin" by various government officials.
However, Busby and Morgan insist the findings are the first evidence that
DU particles were able to travel thousands of miles from Baghdad to England.
Their report can be found on the Internet.
- Gulf War Syndrome
- About 300 tons of DU were dispersed over Iraq in 1991.
Yet the US Department of Defense (DoD) has found little health risk to
soldiers who inhaled DU and continues to claim exposure to DU is safe.
Nearly 580,000 soldiers were deployed in the war. 294 soldiers died and
400 were wounded or became ill. As of year 2000, there were 325,000 on
permanent medical disability, and over 11,000 have died. Obviously something
serious happened to the health of these men and women who served in the
- DU is known to be neurotoxic. Gulf War vets are twice
as likely to come down with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) than vets who did
not serve in Iraq. ALS, a fatal neuromuscular disease, is now considered
a "service-connected" disease and vets can get disability. Gulf
War vets have nearly twice the prevalence of "chronic multi-system
disease" than soldiers who served elsewhere at the same time. But
so called "Gulf War Syndrome" continues to be denied as a specific
illness. The Department of Defense's evaluation does not consider GWS as
a unique syndrome, unique illness, or unique symptom complex in deployed
Gulf War vets.
- The Worldwide Diabetes Epidemic
- A half century ago, during the early years of the Cold
War when I went to medical school, diabetes was not a common disease. Now
in the 21st century it is common to hear of diabetes as an impending epidemic.
Certainly the statistics bear this out.
- Currently, 7% of Americans have diabetes (17 million).
In addition, a Los Angeles Times front-page report on 16 September 2006,
claims that there are more than 41 million Americans with abnormal blood
glucose abnormalities, "that indicate they may soon develop diabetes."
In Puerto Rico (where DU was tested) 10% of the population has diabetes.
- The Centres of Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta declares
that "unless Americans change their ways," 33% of the babies
born this year will be diabetic by the year 2050. Also by 2050 there are
expected to be 45 million diabetics in the US. A vet support group, Veterans
with Diabetes International, says there are 143 million people worldwide
with the disease, and 300 million people are expected to have diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes, most often seen in children and young
adults, comprises 5-10% of the cases. Type 2, a metabolic disorder resulting
from the body's inability to make enough or properly use insulin, frequently
strikes adults, especially obese adults. This group comprises 90% or more
of diabetics. The CDC predicts that Type 2 diabetes will increase 165%
by 2050. People with Type 2 diabetes are also twice as likely to get pancreatic
- Thirty-four years after the Vietnam war ended, the DoD
finally presented the "strongest evidence" that Type 2 diabetes
can be connected to Agent Orange. Eighteen million gallons of this plant
defoliant and poison was sprayed over Vietnam by the US military. It is
now known to cause cancer and birth defects. Starting in the year 2002
diabetes is now recognised as a "service-connected" disease for
all Vietnam vets. At present, diabetes is not service-connected for Gulf
- Nine percent of Vietnam vets have Type 2 diabetes. There
is no current evidence that Gulf War vets have a heightened incidence of
diabetes, but I could find no solid research to confirm or deny this. Perhaps
in one or two more decades government scientists will discover a connection
- The common causes of diabetes are thought to be obesity,
poor diet and lack of exercise. Leuren Moret believes the cause of the
new epidemic is more sinister: namely the increasing levels worldwide of
depleted uranium in the atmosphere, combined with emissions from the proliferation
of nuclear power plants.
- Unlike government scientists, Moret says DU is very,
very, very nasty stuff; and that diabetes is an immediate response to DU,
in contrast to the decades it can take for uranium to produce radiation-induced
cancer. Although she cannot prove it, she is the first scientist to strongly
suggest a connection between the new worldwide diabetes epidemic and DU.
- Moret insists the medical profession has been active
in the cover-up of low level radiation from atmospheric testing and nuclear
power plants. I have been unable to verify this, but it is consistent with
the passive role the health profession took during the Cold War nuclear
testing in the US (more later). She has also spoken about medical professionals
in hospitals who were threatened by government officials with $10,000 fines
and jail time if they talked openly about the returning Iraq war soldiers
and their medical problems. This could explain the paucity of reports in
the scientific literature regarding vets exposed to DU and their war-associated
- Moret also says reporters have been prevented access
to more than 14,000 medically evacuated soldiers from the current Iraq
War, brought back to Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, DC. To learn
more about Leuren Moret and her research, Google: Leuren Moret + videos.
In addition, she appears in the recent documentary film Beyond Treason,
detailing the horrific effects of depleted uranium exposure on American
troops and Iraqi civilians in the Gulf region in 1991.
- Is Depleted Uranium Safe?
- Ronald L. Kathren is Professor Emeritus at Washington
State University and a leading authority vouching for the safety of DU.
Unlike Major Rokke, he does not appear to have ever served in the military
or to have come in contact with DU on a battlefield. Nevertheless, his
opinions carry a lot of weight in the scientific world.
- Kathren does not dispute the fact that military personnel
who may have had contact with DU are suffering from various illnesses,
but he believes that exposure to uranium is very unlikely to be the cause.
- Writing for the Portland Independent Media Centre on
3 July 2005, he declares: "Health physicists are deeply concerned
with the public health and welfare, and as experts in radiation and its
effects on people and the environment, are quite aware that something other
than exposure to uranium is the cause of the illnesses suffered by those
who have had contact with depleted uranium from munitions. A truly enormous
body of scientific data shows that it is virtually impossible for uranium
to be the cause of their illnesses. Despite this body of scientific data
to the contrary, misguided or unknowing people continue to allege that
the depleted uranium, and specifically the radioactivity associated with
the depleted uranium is the cause of these illness. This is indeed unfortunate,
for health physicists and other scientists and physicians already know
that depleted uranium is not the cause of these illnesses and thus any
investigations into the cause of these illnesses should focus on other
possible causes. If we are to offer any measure of relief or solace to
these suffering people, and to gain some important additional knowledge
of the cause of their illness, we should not waste our valuable and limited
energies, resources and time attempting to point the finger at depleted
uranium as the culprit, when it is already known that uranium is almost
certainly not the cause of the problem." (http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/07/320739.shtml)
- "No Level of Radiation is Safe for Humans"
- As a physician it is inconceivable to me that government-approved
experts like Kathren can so quickly dismiss DU as safe and harmless, particularly
when on 29 June 2005, a National Academy of Sciences panel in Washington
DC has found that no level of radiation is safe for humans.
- The panel concluded that "any dose of radiation,
no matter how small, can induce cancer. Exposure to radiation is becoming
more and more likely for most people because of the growing use of radiation
in medicine. The new findings could lead to changes in medical practices
and the levels of radiation allowed at former nuclear sites." The
panel also contradicted the often heard dictum of some government pro-nuclear
scientists that "a little radiation is good for you."
- The idea that low doses of radiation are safe is the
myth that allowed extensive nuclear testing during the Cold War without
a huge protest from every member of the human race. It is this myth that
still allows DU weapons to be used on battlefields against "terrorists."
- Historically, the proof of the danger of nuclear warfare
was provided a decade ago by the publication of a US Congressional committee
report authorised by President Bill Clinton and entitled, The Human Radiation
Experiments. The report showed clearly that government scientists and physicians
could not be trusted in their pronouncements regarding the safety of nuclear
weapons. Even worse was the documentation of countless covert and secret
radiation experiments conducted on unsuspecting citizens during the Cold
War "in the name of science." Unfortunately, this horrific 1996
report did not deter Clinton from allowing DU weapons in Kosovo in 1999,
nor did it deter President George W. Bush, who authorised their use again
in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Anyone with Internet access can simply Google "the
human radiation experiments" for details of the shameful science surrounding
nuclear testing and the disastrous health effects on unsuspecting American
- In 2001, a half century after extensive nuclear weapons
testing in the American West, the US National Cancer Institute was finally
forced to reveal its finding that bomb testing in Nevada, which spread
radioactive fallout across every state of the Union, has caused at least
15,000 cancer deaths and up to 212,000 non-fatal thyroid cancers. John
LaForge of Nukewatch.com reminds us that "the 67 bomb tests blown
off between 1946 and 1958 were said at the time to be safe."
- Money, Power and Depleted Uranium
- Who is profiting from this global uranium nightmare?
In The Enemy Within (1996) Jay Gould reveals that the British Royal family
privately owns investments in uranium holdings worth over $6 billion through
Rio Tinto Mines, an Anglo-Australian company, which is the world's largest
mining company with more than 60 operations in 40 countries. Africa and
Australia are two of the main sources of uranium in the world; and the
Rothschilds control uranium supplies and prices globally.
- Gould notes that nuclear radiation has brought dramatic
increases in breast cancer mortality, especially in communities 50 to 100
miles downwind from nuclear reactors. Book reviewer Donna Lee writes: "The
Enemy Within has enough scientific data to address those bureaucrats who
deny that living near a nuclear reactor is a hazard to one's health. It
also includes enough direct, clear prose to convince me, a breast cancer
survivor, that I grew up during the Cold War as an unknowing guinea pig,
further victimised by the politics of suppression and denial."
- Lee continues: "After reading the book, however,
I am bothered by one persistent question. I was born and raised and continue
to live in San Francisco, California, which has the highest incidence of
breast cancer in the world. The Enemy Within concerns itself with breast
cancer mortality rates, which are highest in the communities around New
York City. San Francisco isn't within 100 miles of a nuclear reactor and
it isn't even mentioned in the book. If low level radiation explains clusters
of breast cancer throughout the US, what explains us?"
- Actually there was a nuclear power plant located in Sacramento,
less than 100 miles from San Francisco, which became active in 1975. Gould
probably did not include this in his 1996 book because the Rancho Seco
Nuclear Power Plant was forced to shut down its operations in 1989, due
to a public outcry and a referendum.
- David Bradbury says child cancer rates on Vieques Island
have soared 250% above the Puerto Rican national average in the last thirty
years. In his 2005 documentary film, Blowin' in the Wind, the provocative
Australian filmmaker and two-time Academy Award nominee also provides some
answers regarding the huge financial interests involved in uranium production
and DU weapons. Australia provides one-third of the world's uranium supply,
and Bradbury reveals a secret treaty that allows the US military to train
and test its DU weaponry on Australian soil. He exposes plans to extract
over $36 billion from uranium mines over the next six years, and shows
the finished construction of a 1,000 mile railway from the mining area
to a port on the north coast of Australia to transport the ore.
- The railway project was built by Texas-based Halliburton
Company. In 1995 US Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO of that company.
The film maker says, "The Queen's favourite American buccaneers, Cheney,
Halliburton, and the Bush family, are tied to her through uranium mining
and the shared use of illegal depleted uranium munitions in the Middle
East, Central Asia and Kosovo/Bosnia. The major roles that such diverse
individuals and groups as the Carlyle Group, George Herbert Walker Bush,
former Carlyle CEO Frank Calucci, the University of California managed
nuclear weapons labs at Los Alamos and Livermore, and US and international
pension fund investments have played in proliferating depleted uranium
weapons is not well known or in most instances even recognised, inside
or outside Australia. God Save The Queen from the guilt of her complicity
in turning Planet Earth into a 'Death Star'."
- Depleted Uranium and the War on Terror
- There is nothing more terrifying than the thought of
exposing all life forms on the planet to DNA-altering radiation in order
to provide us with "safety" and "democracy." It is
truly diabolic to think that the destruction of the planet is now occurring
with so few people comprehending what is going on - and still fewer people
taking an active stand against this tragedy. It is apparent that most of
the world's political and spiritual leaders, as well as scientists, physicians,
lawyers, and health professionals do not care about the dangers of DU weapons
and other forms of nuclear energy. If they cared we would certainly be
hearing and reading about it on television and in the major media.
- As a researcher and writer over the part few decades,
I have focused on the man-made origin of AIDS and the little-known bacterial
cause of cancer, paying little attention to nuclear radiation. However,
in 2001 I wrote an article entitled "The Human Radiation Experiments:
How Scientists Secretly Used US Citizens as Guinea Pigs During the Cold
War", which was published in the September-October 2001 issue of New
Dawn, and is posted on several websites. But I must admit I was unaware
of the serious planetary problems posed by DU. I simply assumed that no
civilised and peace-loving country would ever be reckless and heartless
enough to use these radioactive weapons. How wrong I was!
- What I find most pathetic and inconceivable is that we
have learned nothing from the detrimental health effects unleashed by the
atomic bombing of Japan - and nothing from the nuclear testing horrors
of the last half of the 20th century. Instead we continue to contaminate
vast areas of the world with radiation we don't know how to get rid of.
- I remember as an eleven year-old boy how jubilant everyone
was by the atomic attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which
brought the war to a rapid end. A half century later my Caucasian niece
married a Japanese-American man. Shortly after the wedding she noticed
a lump in his neck, which proved to be thyroid cancer. His mother was a
child when she lived 50 miles outside of Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped.
Decades later, in her forties, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, undoubtedly
due to the radiation fallout. The doctors considered the possibility that
my niece's husband might have developed thyroid cancer because of radiation-altered
and thyroid cancer-causing genes passed on to him by his mother. Of course
the family wonders if their two young children will eventually also get
thyroid cancer. Who would have thought that the atomic bombing of Japan
in 1945 would have a cancerous effect five decades later on my family living
- A few years ago I developed a thyroid nodule, which was
biopsied and proved non-cancerous. As a teenager in the 1950s I received
"superficial" radiation treatments for acne at the recommendation
of a well-known New York dermatologist, a treatment that was later banned
because of its potential to cause thyroid cancer.
- It is almost a cliché to remind people that "all
of us are connected." The fallout from DU and nuclear energy now binds
us all together in an increasingly radioactive planet. No one is immune
from the deleterious effects of radiation, and no one knows how to clean
- What can we do about it? The only thing we can do is
to stop the madness immediately. However, power and greed and politics
and religion make that highly unlikely.
- We have met the perpetrators of the new radiation-induced
"war on terror." And, sadly, it is us.
- Dr. Alan Cantwell is a retired dermatologist and the
author of five books on the man-made origin of AIDS and the infectious
origin of cancer, all published by Aries Rising Press, PO Box 29532, Los
Angeles, CA 90029, USA (www.ariesrisingpress.com). His book, Queer Blood:
The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot, is available in Australia through New Dawn
Book Service for $24.95 plus $8 p&h. Many of his personal writings
can be found on www.google.com by typing in key words "alan cantwell"
+ articles. His latest book is Four Women Against Cancer: Bacteria, Cancer
and the Origin of Life. His books are also available on www.amazon.com
and in the US through Book Clearing House @ 1-800-431-1579. Email: email@example.com.
- Alan Cantwell M.D.
- FOUR WOMEN AGAINST CANCER:
- Bacteria, Cancer and the Origin of Life