Since I began writing a military column for Children’s Health Defense, emails have begun to march in from weary parents who served in the Gulf War and now have children with birth defects.
Most of these emails are accompanied with an urgent request: “Please tell our story.”
From my first database search on Gulf War-related birth defects, two things became clear. First, any published research on the subject had to include substantiation of the birth defects. Second, the research had to conclude that the birth defects are not statistically significantly different than what can be found in the general population.
This is all-too-familiar territory. We call it “better diagnosis” spin — claiming there aren’t more cases, we’re just doing a better job of diagnosing them.
But the more concerning issue for me as a veteran was my total ignorance on this topic. How was it possible that I had never heard of serious birth defects in the children of my fellow veterans?
I soon found the answer to that question. In 1995, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) fact-checked the topic as “embarrassing” to the U.S. — and censored the media from reporting on it.
The research on increased risk of birth defects in Gulf War veterans
To this day, the Veterans Administration (VA) and the DOD deny the abnormal prevalence of birth defects in children born to Gulf War veterans, despite evidence to the contrary. Here are some of the studies I uncovered in my research:…