18 Apr 2005

Congress to decide what to do about Marshall Islands cancer study

5:43 pm on 18 April 2005

Marshall Islanders are hoping a study into the number of cancer sufferers caused by US bomb testing there will help their bid to secure more compensation from Washington.

The study by the US government's National Cancer Institute the estimated 530 cases of cancer already attributed to the 1950s' tests is set to double.

The study was prepared for next month's Senate hearings to review a Marshall Islands petition seeking more than three billion US dollars in additional compensation for nuclear test damage.

Radio New Zealand International's correspondent in Majuro, Giff Johnson, says it's now up to Congress to decide what action to take on the Institute's study...

"The Bush Administration has already said there are no legal requirements for it to provide more nuclear test compensation. The Marshall Islands of course disagrees with that and essentially it's up to the Congress to decide what it wants to do. And that's what these hearings coming up next month and beyond in both Houses of the Congress, people here in the Marshalls are hoping will begin to air these issues and get a little more direction on what Congress ultimately will do for the Marshalls."

Radio New Zealand International's correspondent in Majuro, Giff Johnson