Gulf War Syndrome

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Tyler Lord Tyler Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Constitutional and Political Reform)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the United States' National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf War and Health: Volume 11: Generational Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War, published on 28 November 2018; and what steps they are taking to assess the implications of that report into the long-term effects of Gulf War syndrome on veterans and their families.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The UK Government's strategy on research topics and studies into the health of Gulf War veterans has been informed and overseen by independent scientific experts nominated by the Medical Research Council, taking account of published peer-reviewed international literature and international studies. We have no plans to undertake further research on Gulf War issues, however, we continue to monitor any Gulf War research that is published around the world.

The overwhelming evidence from scientific research shows no adverse health effects. In line with contemporary medical and scientific understanding from the mid-1990s onwards, no distinct disease process or pathology associated with Gulf illness has been identified. However, we do recognise that some veterans of the 1990/91 Gulf Conflict are ill and that some of this ill health is related to their Gulf service.

In such cases, compensation may be claimed under the War Pensions Scheme with appropriate medical care provided by the National Health Service across the UK.

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