31 Jul 2006

France acknowledges cancer link to nuclear test

1:29 pm on 31 July 2006

An official letter has been published in French Polynesia establishing a link between the French nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific and increase in the number of thyroid cancer cases in the area.

The letter was sent by the French Institute of Health and Medical Research and made public by French Polynesia's President, Oscar Temaru.

The institute says although the number of cancer cases is statistically significant, the figure with certain links is limited.

But it says taking into account possible other contributing factors among Polynesians, such as obesity, the incidence is still unusually high.

Mr Temaru read out the letter in the assembly which prompted the assembly president to say the issue didn't belong into the budget debate and adjourned the sitting until tomorrow.