Sanders in England to Address Gulf War Illness

06/20/02 12:00AM



(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders has gone to England in an effort to coordinate international research concerning Gulf War related illnesses. Sanders has followed this issue very closely as a member of the House subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

Sanders was part of a three-member U.S. delegation that addressed a joint meeting of the British House of Commons and House of Lords on Wednesday. Following his speech in Parliament, Sanders met with British soldiers who are suffering from Gulf War Illness. Sanders says that roughly 15 % of all service people who served in the Gulf War suffer from debilitating symptoms such as tiredness, digestive problems, nerve damage and psychological difficulties.

Sanders hopes that U.S. and British researchers can work together to find the direct cause of these illnesses. Sanders says this research will also provide new clues for the many people in this country who suffer symptoms relating to various forms of chemical sensitivity:

(Sanders) "What's important here is not only that we go forward to protect the 125,000 men and women who are suffering from Gulf War Illness today, but see what connections exist between Gulf War Illness and other types of illnesses that the civilian society suffers from in terms of chemical and toxic exposures."

(Host) Although the Veterans Administration has never officially recognized the existence of Gulf War Syndrome, Sanders says the VA recently acknowledged that soldiers who fought in the Gulf War are twice as likely to develop Lou Gehrig's disease.
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