HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc11-2W
Mr. Flook

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Gulf War veterans suffering from Gulf War illnesses have been tested for (a) depleted uranium poisoning, (b) squalene antibodies and (c) microplasmal organisms. [155172]

Mr. Caplin

A voluntary programme to test for depleted uranium (DU) in the urine of veterans will begin in pilot form in March, with the full programme expected to become available during the summer. The test will be available for all eligible veterans and civilians, irrespective of their state of health. In addition, a very small number of veterans have been tested for total uranium following referral by the Gulf Veterans' Medical Assessment Programme. I understand that some veterans have been tested for exposure to DU by private arrangement.

The Ministry of Defence has not tested veterans for squalene antibodies or mycoplasmal infections, to which I believe the hon. Member is referring. I understand that some veterans have been tested for squalene antibodies by private arrangement.