Australian troops innoculated against the deadly anthrax disease may have been subjected to even worse side effects. The more sinister action taken
was the troops were never told of the side effects and innoculations continued.
Shaun Rusling, chairman of the UK Gulf Veterans and Families Association said the anthrax vaccine had shattered his health, and the same thing could
happen to Australian troops.
"By 1993 I had a physical and mental breakdown," Mr Rusling told ABC Radio.
"Some of the troops that have it have very significant health problems."
"What the guys in Australia need to do now is start asking questions, write to the members of parliament, because this is nothing short of a human
rights abuse and experimentation."
Defence Force Chief General Peter Cosgrove said those vaccinated would be monitored for side effects as well as other health problems.
A new internal Defence Department review of the Australian troops who fought in the Iraq war suggested defence force personnel be informed of vaccines
and risks before they were injected.
General Cosgrove said the defence forces were setting up procedures to monitor the health of their troops over the long term.
"We are not interested in monitoring just the (anthrax) inoculation," he told Channel 9.
"We have now established a baseline of knowledge of the state of health of our people that were deployed on operations.
"But we don't want to do it just for the Middle East, just for Iraq but for future operations. It's a sensible thing.
"You get a baseline, you keep your eye across the months and years and if there are any anomalies you can start to compare those with what you saw at
an earlier time."
General Cosgrove said none of the Australian troops injected with the vaccine had been pressured.
He also said he bore no ill will towards those troops who refused to have the anthrax vaccination before the Iraq war.
"There was one man who felt that he had a little bit of pressure from his boss but a fairly eminent QC looking at the situation emphatically declared
that everybody had their choice, were told what the implications of the inoculation were and then got on with it," he said.
"I think the one or two people who declined to take the inoculation probably see things in a different light, but they are vastly outnumbered by the
people who did take the inoculation and got on with their job."
Mr Rusling said the anthrax vaccine contained the adjuvant Squalene which can cause auto-immune disease, lupus and multiple sclerosis.
Before the Iraq war, 52 defence personnel were flown back to Australia after they refused to receive the vaccine.
[Edited on 25-2-2004 by Zion Mainframe]