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We are killing our own!
By Peter G. Cohen


Published 21 February 2008

Peter G Cohen, artist and activist, is the author of nukefreeworld.com

He lives and writes in Santa Barbara, where he can be reached.


10 February 2008,

Dear Pres. Jean-Marie Matagne,

I want to thank you for your letter to the British Prime Minister. By taking his statement seriously you may be supporting his efforts at disarmament. Thank you.

I am one of those ordinary people who are mentioned as part of ACDN. My distinction is that at 82 years I have the leisure to work at nuclear disarmament.

In the process of updating my website, nukefreeworld.com, I have come across new materials regarding the current state of fetal and baby health in the United States. The essence of these materials is attatched.

The combination of low-level radiation and the proliferation of synthetic chemicals is unquestionably degrading the human gene pool. It seems to me that this may be one aspect of powerful motivation for the abolition of nuclear weapons and power plants. At the same time, it may discourage people from wanting to include nuclear weapons and power in their national plans for the future.

If you question this basic conclusion, you may want to have some reliable scientific body examine the evidence for the rapid increase in birth defects and other genetic problems in recent decades. If this material is widely circulated before the 2010 NPT Review Conference, it might lend a sense of urgency that was lacking in 2005. It was the disgusting performance of U.S. representatives to that conference that led to the start of my website.

I have grandchildren. We must not hand on to them this legacy of stillbirths, malformations and cancers as every nuclear operation contributes to the load of radiation that everyone is subjected to.

With all best wishes,

Peter G Cohen, Santa Barbara, U.S.,


I am sorry to be the messenger of this awful information, but it is necessary in order for you to protect your family, friends and the world wherever possible.

The National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control have estimated that between 11,000 and 212,000 Americans have had thyroid cancer or leukemia from the fallout of our nuclear testing. They believe that about 11,000 of these have died, from radioactive iodine-131 alone. Tens of thousands more have been sickened and many died from radiation exposure in mining, processing, assembling, and other actions related to these weapons and nuclear fuel.

Several federal programs are now providing compensation to these victims and their families. In 2008 claims are still being evaluated and compensation paid for 22 types of cancer caused by radiation. RECA, which compensates downwinders, miners, millers and transporters has approved 19 thousand cases for $1.27 Billion. EEOICPA, which compensates other nuclear workers, has paid out $3.5 billion in compensation and medical bills, and has a backlog of some 25,000 cases.

We will never know exactly how many people have been sickened or killed by low-level nuclear radiation from our weapons efforts and from routine and accidental discharges from nuclear plants, because the effects are varied and often delayed. “The current generation, the one in utero, and all that follow may suffer cancers, immune system damage, leukemias, miscarriages, stillbirths, deformities, and fertility problems...Perhaps the most extreme outcome over time would be simply the wholesale cessation of the ability to reproduce.” -Oser-Brown, Background Briefing on Radioactive Pollution.

The list of radiation symptoms is similar to those assumed to be caused by chemical pollution of mothers and newborn babies. The statistics are shocking. “Asthma, autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, childhood brain cancer and acute lymphocytic leukemia have all increased over the past 30 years. Five to ten percent of American couples are infertile. Up to half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Three to five percent of babies are born with birth defects. Scientists cannot fully explain these increases, but early life exposure to environmental pollutants is a leading suspect...With an estimated 75,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., and an average of seven new chemicals approved each day, many not tested for safety and certainly not tested for their ability to “reprogram” body tissues, the ramifications of this study (of human umbilical cord blood) are enormous”. - Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns, Environmental Working Group

But even these threats cannot be compared to the results of radiation from nuclear explosions. From 1946 to 1958 the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands. The total yield of these tests was 108 megatons, the equivalent of more than 7,000 Hiroshima bombs.

On November 6, 1995, Lijon Eknilang, a quiet, unassuming woman from the Marshall Islands appeared before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. She relayed to the 14 officiating judges horrifying testimony about the effects of nuclear testing in the Pacific.

“Women have experienced many reproductive cancers and abnormal births. In privacy, they give birth, not to children as we like to think of them, but to things we could only describe as "octopuses," "apples," "turtles," and other things in our experience.

“The most common birth defects on Rongelap and nearby islands have been "jellyfish" babies. These babies are born with no bones in their bodies and with transparent skin. We can see their brains and hearts beating. The babies usually live for a day or two before they stop breathing. Many women die from abnormal pregnancies, and those who survive give birth to what looks like purple grapes which we quickly hide away and bury.”

Lijon, who has herself had eight miscarriages and no live births, pleaded that the suffering she and other Marshall Islanders had experienced should never be repeated anywhere in the world. The ` judges concluded that nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive potential, that their impact could not be contained in time or space, and that there is a universal obligation to abolish such weapons. - From The Human Factor by Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament.

With chemicals, nuclear weapons and nuclear plants our modern technology is polluting our nation and others to such a degree that we are degrading the human gene pool. If we continue this reckless behavior over time - for any reason whatsoever - we may end the human race.

PS. If you or a friend is having a baby, do your best to protect mother throughout pregnancy and the very sensative first two years of baby’s life. Try to stay away from nuclear and chemical plants for those years. Eat organic foods, if possible, and avoid powerful household chemicals. The Environmental Working Group study showed that hundreds of chemicals can get into the mother’s blood and be delivered to the baby through the umbilical cord. Given reasonable sanitation and a decent diet, you grandparents had a better chance of having a healthy baby than you do in the modern world.

If you want to reduce the radiation and chemicals in your environment, send this article with your own statement to your Representative in Congress. Ask them not to fund any support for new nuclear plants and to work for the testing of all synthetic chemicals for their biological effects.

Thank you.

# # #


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