Veterans claim evidence of 'guinea pig' vaccine trials Anthrax doses used on Gulf War troops, document reveals 19 November 2005 Yorkshire Today (UK) By Alexandra Wood CAMPAIGNING Forces veterans have uncovered the first written evidence that they were used as human guinea pigs during the first Gulf War. For years veterans of the 1991 conflict have claimed that rushed multiple vaccinations given to troops in the lead-up to the conflict, including experimental vaccines, were among the causes of their many illnesses, known as Gulf War Syndrome. Now a document released under the Freedom of Information Act has backed up their claims that they were given double doses of anthrax vaccines as well as unlicensed boosters. And, critically, it states that the use of boosters, given to improve the take-up of the vaccine, would "provide a unique opportunity to obtain human data". The document outlines a presentation by a colonel from the Royal Army Medical Corps, working as a civil servant, following a meeting at the Centre for Applied Microbiological Research, the civilian section of the Porton Down research establishment, in August 1990. It talks about improving the efficiency of the anthrax vaccine by using licensed whooping cough vaccine or "an unlicensed adjuvant" and using double doses of the anthrax vaccine for the same reason. It states the use of boosters would "significantly reduce the numbers and severity of casualties" and concludes: "Should option two be agreed this would also provide a unique opportunity to obtain human data on the efficacy of the whooping cough/anthrax combination." Leading veterans campaigner Ray Bristow, a former warrant officer with 32 Field Hospital, had more than 20 vaccinations in just three weeks in 1990-1991 including a classified biological vaccine, five anthrax jabs and three for whooping cough – although the latter should not be used on adults. He also "religiously" took nerve agent pre-treatment sets, known as NAPS, for nearly six weeks. Mr Bristow, 47, from east Hull, who now uses a walking stick to get around, suffers joint pain, double vision and fits. Mr Bristow said: "Vaccines affected everyone including those who didn't deploy. It is the common factor linking thousands of sick veterans. "The whole document is quite shocking to say the least, but it does answer a few questions and opens up some untruths. The Labour government promised a new beginning of truth and openness and it is everything but. The saddest thing is that with the correct information being given to the veterans' doctors some veterans who have now died and died in poverty may well be still alive today." The Ministry of Defence said it had spent £8m on research into veterans' illnesses and insisted that there was no clinical evidence to show the vaccines were the cause of ill-health.