Balkans syndrome: The next Agent Orange and GWS?

From: "Bruce K. Melson" <>

Italian 'Balkans Syndrome' Deaths Rise to Five

ROME (Reuters) - The death toll of Italian veterans of Balkan peacekeeping
missions linked to the
so-called ``Balkans syndrome'' has risen to five, Italian newspapers
reported on Saturday.

All five veterans died from cancer.

Italian newspapers said Italy's military prosecutor was investigating some
20 cases which the media
have linked to the ''Balkans syndrome.''

Press reports have suggested the illnesses could be linked to depleted
uranium shells used by Nato
during its 1999 campaign to oust Serb forces from Kosovo.

Official reaction has been to deny that such a link exists, but on Friday
Belgium called for European
Union defense ministers to discuss health problems suffered by peacekeepers
in former Yugoslavia.

The call by Belgian Defense Minister Andre Flahaut came amid rising concern
in Europe over
mysterious illnesses among Balkan peacekeeping veterans.

In Lisbon, the Diario de Noticias newspaper reported that Portugal had
ordered medical tests for its
soldiers serving in Kosovo to check for radiation from depleted uranium
ammunition used in the
NATO campaign.

Concerns over possible health effects of depleted uranium shells in Kosovo
have also been raised
by service members or civilian aid workers in Britain and the Netherlands.

U.S. attack jets fired some 31,000 rounds of depleted uranium ammunition --
used to pierce armor --
at Serbian tanks and armored cars during the Kosovo campaign, according to a
United Nations
(news - web sites) expert.

The Pentagon (news - web sites) said in March that the remains of the shells
did not present a
significant health hazard.


When the way comes to an end, then change - having changed, you pass
       I. Ching

Bruce K. Melson