A U.S. Marine mans an M-240G machine gun at the Highway 1 “cloverleaf” outside the city of Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.
A new study has concluded that a rise in genetic damage in children born in Fallujah, Iraq, could have been caused by the weaponry used in the U.S. assault on the city six years ago.
Researchers also discovered that the rate of malformations was almost 11 times higher than normal and continued to rise in the first half of 2010. —JCL
A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.
The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.
The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja’s genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a 15% drop in births of boys.