LETTER: Why official theories may hide the true nuclear risks

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The Independent Online
Sir: The fears of GPs on Benbecula about a link between Chernobyl and increased local cancer rates (report, 1 April), and the ongoing beef scare raise questions about freedom of information, vested interests and public accountability.

The number affected by CJD is less than the number of Lottery millionaires. The Government repeatedly tells us that there is no certainty about the dangers, but has nevertheless ordered a robust response to minimise the risks.

Conversely, we have concrete evidence of the effects of radiation. In the words of the International Commission for Radiological Protection, "Any exposure to radiation may carry some risk for the development of somatic effects, including leukaemia and other malignancies and of hereditary effects." Where is the sweeping government action to eradicate the risk of radiation-induced cancer? The Government reaffirmed earlier this year that it is still not safe to eat lamb from sheep bred in parts of Britain because of a nuclear disaster which occurred 10 years ago and 1,500 miles away, and now there may be a causal link between Chernobyl and cancer rates in the British Isles.

Janet Bloomfield

Chair, CND

London N7