France’s health minister has ordered a fresh investigation into why babies in rural areas of the country have been born with missing limbs.
Reports have recently been circulating in the French media about areas of France that have seen an unusually high number of babies born without arms, forearms or hands. Santé Publique France, the country’s public health agency, had previously conducted an investigation in which it claimed the birth defects had no known cause. The only thing the babies’ mothers were said to have in common is that they all lived in very rural areas.
With the agency’s inquiries having then been closed, and its officials claiming it was not possible to hold any further investigations, parents of the affected children were understandably outraged and demanding answers. Noting that Santé Publique France had been aware of the problem since at least 2011, many people concluded that a high-level pesticide industry cover-up was underway.
Given that it was always inevitable that Santé Publique France would eventually have to reopen its investigation, the fact that it has now done so is not yet a reason for anyone to feel reassured. As babies will continue to be at risk until the cause of the birth defects is finally uncovered, parents and campaigners will not be satisfied until they learn the truth.
To learn more about this under-reported case, read this article on our website.