Gulf War Illnesses

House of Lords written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of Lord Morris of Manchester Lord Morris of Manchester Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What studies the Medical Research Council has made of the findings of research funded by the Government of the United States into the illnesses of veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War; by whom the studies were undertaken; at what cost to public funds; what the outcomes of such studies were; and whether British veterans with Gulf War illnesses and the bereaved families of those who have died since the conflict have been informed of them.

Photo of Lord Sainsbury of Turville Lord Sainsbury of Turville Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Science and Innovation)

In 2003 the Medical Research Council, through the Military Health Research Advisory Group (MHRAG), undertook a comprehensive review of relevant Gulf research, including studies funded by the US authorities. It is not possible to give a cost of the review of the US studies in isolation but the cost of the review is estimated at between £20,000 and £25,000, the main expenses being MRC staff time, travel and hotel costs for non-MRC staff involved and administration.

The review, which was published on the MRC website1, made a number of recommendations on where future research might focus and provided additional advice to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

MRC has made the information available on its website.

1 The current url is www.mrc.ac.uk/index/public-interest/public-topical_issues/public-military_health/public-gulf_veterans.htm, however the MRC is currently re-launching its site and this address will change shortly.

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