Stop Hinkley Press Release
8th March 2008
Green Audit response to Public Health Observatory
Green Audit, whose study showed a three-fold excess of infant mortality in estuary populations near Hinkley Point, has responded to a short briefing paper by the South West Public Health Observatory which claimed no significant increases. The Green Audit paper was supported by former Director of the SW Cancer Intelligence Service, Dr Derek Pheby and was the subject of a BBC 'Inside Out' documentary on February 29th.
The Public Health Observatory's briefing (1) declared it was being 'consistent' with Green Audit's research in response to concerns raised.
Dr Busby, author of the Green Audit study, questions how two organisations can reach such different conclusions based on the same figures from the Office of National Statistics.
The SWPHO paper declared it was "calculating infant and perinatal mortality rates in the group of estuary wards... and compared rates in these wards with the rest of Somerset ... in order to be consistent with the Green Audit definition ."
Examining the briefing Dr Busby found that the Health Observatory had used different electoral wards to his research, had used wards which did not exist before the 1999 electoral ward changes and used a different time period. Moreover Dr Busby had earlier recommended rejection of a childhood mortality paper by the Health Observatory by a public health journal due to similar 'sloppy work'.
The Health Observatory had also discussed cot death incidents which were irrelevant as they had not come under the hypothesis of radiation-induced cancers and mortality, most likely to be genetic defects and cancers.
Dr Busby said: "It is clear that rather than addressing the serious evidence of harm in those living close to a nuclear site and to investigate the specific findings of Green Audit, the SWPHO have devised a completely different study with the aim of fitting up the data in a way that will give them the ability to deny the evidence."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley spokesman, said: "How two studies using the same Government figures can come to such different conclusions is now evident. Redesigning Dr Busby's study while claiming to be consistent with his research is the authorities' clumsy solution to their problem of calming anxieties over local health concerns. The public deserve much better investigation."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator, 07968 974805
Dr Chris Busby: Tel: 01970 630215; 07989 428833 (m)