Row erupts over Hinkley Point infant mortality figures

Burnham-on-Sea .com, Published: March 6, 2008

A report by health officials disputing high infant death rates in the Burnham-On-Sea area around Hinkley Point may have diluted the statistics by examining populations less likely to be affected, nuclear campaigners claimed on Wednesday (March 5th).

The 'Stop Hinkley' group has this week called for fresh research into the risk of breast cancer, leukaemia and infant mortality concentrated in the same affected populations.

The campaigners claim a statement issued by the South West Public Health Observatory this week in response to a study on infant mortality around Hinkley Point shows populations and dates different to those in the original research, which would dilute the mortality figures.

Stop Hinkley goes on to say that "SWPHO health officials chose to include figures from three extra electoral wards which were not part of the original study. They had been excluded as they were not downwind from the Steart Flats or estuary rivers."

"SWPHO also did not mention their redefinition of estuary wards in their press release criticising the Green Audit study, nor the use of a different band of dates which also made comparison meaningless."

Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley, added: "It seems perverse of the authorities to bring in populations less likely to be affected. This was bound to dilute Dr Busby's figures. What should happen now is a look at the big picture with a trustworthy study totting up the total risk of breast cancer, leukaemia and infant deaths occurring together in the same wards. Our guess is this would be statistically very high and further implicate Hinkley Point."

"It's unhelpful of the officials to say our research might cause unnecessary anxiety. If they're wrong the consequences are much greater. They should welcome this very detailed report which backs other research and anecdotal evidence."



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