2003 February: Letter to Age Vietnam Vets drinking 2,4,5-T. Pesticides: 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T

How safe are anthrax shots?

Can Defence Minister Hill please explain why those on board HMAS Kanimbla were required to sign a consent form if anthrax vaccinations were as safe as he claims? If years down the track those personnel over in the Gulf start to suffer previously unknown side effects, will that consent form indemnify the Government from any guilt? And will this consequently make those personnel ineligible for medical treatment?

During the Vietnam War, Agent Orange was sprayed to defoliate the jungle, and subsequently the ground troops suffered side effects that not only affected them and their children, but could also continue affecting them for generations to come. Those ground troops are 13 per cent more likely to contract cancer than the general population.

I was on HMAS Sydney during that war, and we apparently drank contaminated desalinated water drawn from the harbour at Vung Tau. The desalination method increased the toxicity of the contaminants to such an extent that I am 58 per cent more likely to contract cancer than the general population. These facts came to light late last year, more than 30 years after the war, and after a lot of sailors had contracted cancer and died mysteriously.

If Robert Hill is so sure the anthrax vaccine is safe, then I’m sure he won’t mind he and his family having the inoculation – and signing a consent form, of course.
J. King, Musgrave Hill, Qld