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Saturday, June 17, 2017
Congressmen reintroduce Agent Orange Reconciliation Act
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WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) and Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA) reintroduced the Agent Orange Reconciliation Act of 2017 (H.R. 2891) in an effort to help heal the post-conflict, human cost of war by caring for children living with Spina Bifida due to a Vietnam veteran parent’s exposure to Agent Orange.
Spina Bifida requires costly surgeries and extensive medical care because of potential paralysis resulting from damage to the spinal cord. The Agent Orange Reconciliation Act of 2017 would fill gaps in the Agent Orange Benefits Act (Public Law 104-204) by providing a one-time retroactive monetary payment to the families with children enduring with Spina Bifida to compensate for treatment of related symptoms from birth until the date benefits under the original Act were first received.
“Our legislation would provide necessary relief for those Vietnam veterans' children suffering with Spina Bifida due to Agent Orange," said Congressman Bishop. "These veterans and their families have been left with the cost of years of medical care directly attributable to the veteran’s wartime service. We owe it to our veterans to care for them and their families, and this legislation would help do just that.”
“I’m honored to join my good friend and colleague, Congressman Bishop, in this appropriate effort to provide well-deserved support to these long-suffering families,” added Congressman Dent. “It is my hope that this bipartisan measure will move forward in order to assist the children of our Vietnam veterans who have faced the effects of Spina Bifida as a result of their parents’ honorable service.”
Posted by AgentOrangeZone at 9:04 AM No comments:
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
ProPublica Hammers VA Over Recent Agent Orange Science Rejection
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Today, ProPublica hammered a key VA official who denies the harm caused by use of dangerous toxins commonly referred to as Agent Orange.
Assertions Of VA Agent Orange Denier Jim Sampsel
The testimony was presented last March to the committee in an effort to explain why VA denies to many claims related to the herbicide, “When it comes to Agent Orange, the facts don’t always matter.” Sampsel continued, “So we have to deal with the law as written.”
Commenting on testimony provided to a VA advisory committee, lead analyst Jim Sampsel, dismissed present concerns over Agent Orange exposure, calling it “hype” and “hysteria” not based on “science.”
This curious given the longstanding obstruction VA and DoD have engaged in regarding the effects of herbicides using in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War including massive redactions of evidence and voodoo science to support the interests of Monsanto, the two companies responsible for manufacturing the toxin.
Much of the research in the past that I reviewed, which is part of the Alvin Young Collection, focused on impacts of dioxin exposure at normal levels. This assumption fails to account for the military’s use of the dioxin in highly concentrated forms to function as a chemical weapon, according to Russian research published at the time. (more on this below)
The collection consists of much of the research reviewed by US Air Force’s supposed subject matter expert Alvin Young, PhD. He went on to deny the harm caused by herbicides used in Vietnam and testified as a hired gun expert for Dow and Monsanto when the companies were sued by Vietnam veterans decades ago.
Posted by AgentOrangeZone at 11:47 AM No comments:
Veterans Affairs Official Downplays Agent Orange Risks, Questions Critics
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At a meeting in March, a lead analyst in the VA’s compensation service was critical of the media, scientists and the VA’s own administrative tribunal for taking positions that differ from his. The VA said his comments “did not fully or accurately reflect VA’s position” but also said his quotes were being taken out of context.
A key federal official who helps adjudicate claims by veterans who say they were exposed to Agent Orange has downplayed the risks of the chemical herbicide and questioned the findings of scientists, journalists and even a federal administrative tribunal that conflict with his views.
Jim Sampsel, a lead analyst within the Department of Veterans Affairs’ compensation service, told a VA advisory committee in March that he believes much of the renewed attention to Agent Orange — used during the Vietnam War to kill brush and deny cover to enemy troops — is the result of media “hype” and “hysteria,” according to a transcript of the meeting released to ProPublica.
“When it comes to Agent Orange, the facts don’t always matter,” said Sampsel, himself a Vietnam veteran who also handles Gulf War-related illness questions. “So we have to deal with the law as written.”
Part of Sampsel’s job entails reviewing evidence to determine whether a veteran or group of veterans came in contact with Agent Orange outside of Vietnam. By law, veterans are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange if they served or stepped foot in Vietnam; they have to prove exposure if they served at sea or in another country during the war. They also must have a disease that the VA ties to exposure to the herbicide.
“From my point of view, I will do anything to help veterans, any legitimate veteran, and I’ve done it plenty of times,” he told the Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, a group that advises the VA. “Unfortunately when it comes to this Agent Orange, we have to have a lot of denials.”
Posted by AgentOrangeZone at 11:33 AM No comments:
2017 Gulf War Newsletter
The latest release of the yearly Gulf War Newsletter features current research efforts on the health of Gulf War Veterans, information on fibromyalgia, news on presumptive service connection for Camp Lejeune Veterans, and more. Read this newsletter at https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposur ... nter-2017/
Posted by AgentOrangeZone at 11:29 AM No comments:
Expedition Orange Update
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KINGMAN – Cliff Romberger served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and died in 2015 of a brain disease as a result of exposure to Agent Orange.
He was a lifelong horseman and never fulfilled his last bucket list item: to ride coast to coast on horseback. His son is now fulfilling that wish.
Colt Romberger, a U.S. Air Force and Iraq War veteran, is carrying his father’s ashes as part of Expedition Orange, a 3,000-mile ride to raise awareness and honor Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure. He’s also on a mission to get other Vietnam War veterans, and their families, to open up about how Agent Orange has affected their lives.
He made a stop in Kingman Friday before taking a three-week break for rest and repairs.
“Before my dad died he said ‘More for them, less for me,’” Romberger said. “I think what he meant by that was to raise awareness for everyone.”
He started the trek May 1 on Sunset Boulevard and the Pacific Coast Highway north of Santa Monica, California. He hooked up on Route 66 in Pasadena and followed the Mother Road all the way to the California and Nevada side of U.S. Highway 95, ultimately riding into Laughlin and on through Golden Valley.
Romberger, road foreman Kenny Reichel and Gus, his Steel Dust-bred quarter horse, stayed the night at the Mohave County Fairgrounds after a grueling three-day trek from Bullhead City to Golden Valley through the Black Mountains.
“I had to lead (Gus) 2 miles up a hill,” Romberger said. “I was literally holding him with one hand and climbing up a hill with the other.”
Posted by AgentOrangeZone at 11:26 AM No comments:
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Agent Orange linked manufacturing site, “a weeping sore”
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Saturday, June 10, 2017
The day after a public meeting to oppose development on a toxic site in a northern suburb of Melbourne, the developer put it up for sale on a real estate site, without any mention of the contamination. In Victoria, there is no legal requirement for the sellers of contaminated land, to indicate that a site is contaminated.
Local residents packed the Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre on May 11 to hear speakers about the issues around this toxic site.
Several of the older residents who attended the public meeting have family members who died of cancer that they suspect is linked to the operation of chemical company Nufarm on this site from 1957 to 1974. A cancer cluster was discovered in Fawkner and on the other side of Merri Creek at the Lakeside Secondary College.
Nufarm manufactured DDT, arsenic, 2-4-D and 2-4-5-T, as well as Agent Orange, the pesticide that has destroyed the lives of generations of Vietnamese people after it was sprayed by the US army during the Vietnam War. When 24-D and 245-T are mixed together they form Agent Orange. A by-product of the process is dioxin, which is the most toxic element of Agent Orange.
The site was heavily contaminated with dioxins until it received a partial clean-up in the early 1990s.
The Western Region Environment Centre’s Harry van Moorst explained to the public meeting that dioxins are particularly dangerous: “They are carcinogenic. They create tumours. They possibly cause genetic mutation. They are also seen as possible teratogens, causing malformation of the embryo and they have massive effect on immune systems, central nervous systems and diabetes.
“Dioxins are one of those things that really affect your system as a whole. As a result it makes you vulnerable to a whole lot of other diseases and illnesses that aren’t necessarily attributed to dioxin but are attributable to the impact they’ve had on your immune system and nervous system. It makes you extremely vulnerable.”
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