Veterans who served in the Malayan Emergency 50 years ago say NZ soldiers exposed to a toxic insecticide should be compensated for their children's health problems.
A study has found the veterans' children had a higher incidence of genital deformities and breast cancer. NZ Malayan Veterans Assn sec. Hiro Hamilton says soldiers were ordered to smear DBP (or dibutylphthalate) on the seams of their clothes to stop ticks, leeches and other insects from attacking them. It had long been known that the chemical could lead to feminisation in male laboratory animals, but it wasn't known what effect it had on humans, because exposure to it had been rare.
But the study found exposure could mess with metabolic production or destruction of hormones in people. It found the risk of genital deformities in soldiers' sons was up to 8X higher than the rest of the population, and their daughters were more than 8X more likely to develop breast cancer.
The NZ Malayan Veterans Assn would be lobbying the govt, for compensation for soldiers who had children affected by the insecticide. But the shameful thing is, if NZ's track record is anything to go by, these vets are likely to get the cold shoulder! Look at how the NZ govt handled the case of ex-Viet Nam vet Sam Christie, or ignored the services of Nancy Wake (one of the most highly decorated Allied secret agents of WWII), or the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Kap'yong, or the ex-military who are suffering from the after-effects of Agent Orange, or the last of our Battle of Crete veterans wishing to pay their respects to their fallen comrades...
By the time NZ wakes up to the huge debt of gratitude we owe these veterans, they'll all be DEAD!