Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sen. Moran Speaks About S. 2738
 S. 2738. A bill to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces, to establish an advisory board on exposure to toxic substances, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Faces of Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting Schedule

August 23, 2014
Taylor, Michigan
10:00 am-4:00 pm
Wayne County Community College
2100 Northline Road
Taylor, Michigan 48180
Contact: Mike Goodpaster

September 12, 2014
Fort Collins, Colorado
Larimer County Courthouse, First Floor
200 West Oak Street, Fort Collins
Contact: Wes Carter

September 13, 2014
Spokane, Washington
1:00 pm
United Steel Workers of America Hall
14015 E. Trent Street
Spokane Valley, Washington
Contact Jim Daugherty

September 19, 2014
Bellingham, WA
1:00 PM
HEC Conference Center
3333 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham WA
(right down from St. Joseph Hospital)
Contact: Bill Bowen

September 20, 2014
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
4 pm
Town hall Coeur d'Alene Idaho
North Idaho community College,
1000 W. Garden Ave. Coeur d'Alene Id.
Contact Wayne Syth

Sept 21, 2014
Kalispell, MT
2:00 pm
Kalispell Elks Lodge.
1820 HWY 93 south. Kalispell, MT
Contact: John Burgess

September 27, 2014
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
12:00 pm (Noon) – 4:00 pm
UW Manitowoc
705 Viebahn Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
Contact: Mike Demske

September 27, 2014
Edgemere, Maryland
Sunday 1PM-4PM
VFW 2678, 6521 North Point Road
Edgemere, Maryland
 Contact: Bob Hartman
VVA Maryland State Council
VVA Chapter 965
Agent Orange Committee Chairman

October 23, 2014
Richland Center, Wisconsin
4:00 Pm
American Legion Post 13 Building,
900 Flag Park Drive,  Richland Center, WI
Contact: Mike Demske (920) 684-1624

October 25, 2014
Asheville, North Carolina
AB Tech Community College,
Enka Campus, Haynes Building,
1459 Sand Hill Road, Candler, NC
Contact: Allan Perkal,

S. 1602 UPDATE

Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) & Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)  have come together on a bi-partisan bill that will replace S. 1602. They want to introduce it tomorrow. It gives us a good deal of what we want, and it has a chance of passage this Congress. We anticipate that there will be a House companion bill that also has a good chance of passage this year.
S. ______- Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014

Section 1: Short Title: Designates the bill as the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014.
Section 2: Definitions Armed Force, descendant [the biologic child, grandchild or great-grandchild of an individual], toxic substance, veteran
Section 3: National Center for the Research on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Health Conditions of the Descendants of Individuals Exposed to Toxic Substances During Service in the Armed Forces.
·         Requires the VA to select a VA medical center, in consultation with the advisory board created in this Act, to serve as the National Center for the research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of descendants of individuals exposed to toxic substances while serving in the Armed Forces.
o   Selection will be among VA medical centers with expertise in diagnosing and treating individuals exposed to toxic substances or is affiliated with research medical centers or teaching hospitals with such expertise.
·         In conducting research the National Center can study individuals, at their election to participate, who are a member of the Armed Forces exposed to toxic substances, a descendant of an individual in the Armed Forces exposed to toxic substances, or an individual identified by the advisory board created in this Act who has a health condition resulting from exposure to toxic substances.
·         Authorizes the use of records by the Secretary of Defense or other federal agencies to make available evidence of individuals exposed to toxic substances while serving in the Armed Forces, which could be used to assist the VA in determining individuals to participate in research.
·         Authorizes the National Center to employ one clinical social worker to coordinate and handle case management.   
·         Authorizes reimbursement for the reasonable costs of travel and room and board to the National Center for participation in research and for a parent, guardian, spouse or sibling accompanying.
Section 4:  Establishes an Advisory Board responsible for advising the National Center, determining health conditions that result from toxic exposure and to study and evaluate cases of exposure.
·         The Secretary of the VA, in consultation with the Secretary of HHS, the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other federal agencies as appropriate, will 13 members for the Advisory Board. 
o   Members may include descendants, advocates for veterans, members of the Armed Forces, and health professionals, scientists, academics with expertise including but not limited to fields of birth defects, disabilities, environmental exposures, toxic substances and medical research ethics.
·         The advisory board will oversee and assess work at the National Center and advise the Secretary of the VA on the research and findings that could impact the potential for benefits and services of individuals suffering from health conditions due to the exposure to toxic substances.
·         The Advisory Board will determine health conditions in descendants that are a result of their connection to individuals exposed to toxic substances while serving as members of the Armed Forces for the purpose of assessing eligibility for medical care under section 1781 of title 38, United States Code.
o   Study and evaluate claims submitted by veterans, a current member of the Armed Forces, a descendant, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) or VA officials regarding health conditions resulting from exposure to toxic substances.
o   Consider toxic substance exposure claims in coordination with the Center and assess the extent the exposure developed into a health condition that would qualify an individual for medical care and compensation. The Advisory Board will provide these considerations to the Secretary of the VA and to the center for further research.
·         Establishes an annual reporting requirement for the Advisory Board to the Secretary of the VA as to the determinations of the claims submitted and evidence of research on such claims. The report would also include recommendations to the VA and/or DoD on the potential care and cost of treating such health conditions related to toxic exposure.
·         Authorizes reimbursement for the reasonable costs of travel and room and board in accordance with subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
Section 5. Declassification by Department of Defense of Certain Incidents of Exposure of Members of the Armed Forces to Toxic Substances.
·         Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to declassify documents related to incidents in which at least 100 members of the Armed Forces were exposed to a toxic substance that resulted in at least one case of a disability caused by exposure, except when declassification would threaten national security.
Section 6: National Outreach Campaign on Potential Long-Term Health Effects of Exposure to Toxic Substances by Members of the Armed Forces and their Descendants.
·         Creates a national outreach and education campaign jointly led by the VA, DoD and HHS on toxic exposures directed toward members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their family members.

To co-sponsor this legislation, please contact Ethan Saxon at or Caroline Prosch,

Vietnamese French woman files dioxin lawsuit against 35 US companies
A French woman of Vietnamese origin, Tran To Nga, has stood as the sole plaintiff in the Agent Orange/Dioxin lawsuit against 35 chemical companies based in the U.S. for producing the toxic substances sprayed in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s.
Her 31-page complaint was sent to the Superior Court (tribunal de grande instance) based in Evry in the southern suburb of Paris, France. In May, the court sent notifications to the 35 defendants in the U.S. about the case.
The companies produced different kinds of toxic chemicals, including Agent Orange/Dioxin, which are herbicides and defoliants sprayed by the U.S. military to destroy crops and trees in Vietnam during wartime.

Monsanto ordered to pay $93million for poisoning people
Big wins can happen in small places. The West Virginia State Supreme Court finalized a big blow to the biotech giant Monsanto this month, finishing a settlement causing Monsanto to pay $93 million to the tiny town of Nitro, West Virginia for poisoning citizens with Agent Orange chemicals.
The settlement was approved last year, but details were worked out only weeks ago as to how the funds were to be spent.
The settlement will require Monsanto to do the following:

  • $9 million will be spent to clean dioxin contaminated dust from 4500 homes.
  • $21 million will be spent to test to see if people have been poisoned with dioxin.
  • Citizens will be monitored for such poisoning for 30 years, not just a few months.
  • An additional $63 million is to be allotted if additional tests for dioxin contamination testing is necessary.
  • Anyone who lived in the Nitro area between Jan. 1, 1948, and Sept. 3, 2010 will be tested for dioxin. Although they must show proof they lived in the area, they will be eligible for testing even if they no longer live in Nitro.
  • Former or present employees of Monsanto are not eligible for any of these benefits.
  • An office will be set up to organize testing for Nitro citizens. The registration of participants is to be overlooked by Charleston attorney Thomas Flaherty, who was appointed by the court.
  • Residents have a right to file individual suits against Monsanto if medical tests show they suffered physical harm due to dioxin exposure.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tony Becker: Learn More About Toxic Exposure

Japanese report: No evidence of Agent Orange in barrels on Okinawa
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — There is no evidence that dozens of empty chemical drums, unearthed last year on former U.S. military property, contained the toxic defoliant Agent Orange, according to a Japanese government report.
The Okinawa Defense Bureau of the Ministry of Defense tested the final 61 of 83 barrels that were unearthed from land adjacent to the Kadena Air Base fence line. While it found they contained ingredients used in Agent Orange, they were of the incorrect consistency and quantities, leading officials to believe they were to be used as a common herbicide.
The defense bureau also reiterated that it was unlikely that the barrels were a health risk. Tests have shown the air and water, on and off base, are safe.
“There is no evidence that the barrels contained Agent Orange,” the report said. It was posted on the defense bureau’s website earlier this month. “The soil samples that found dioxins and herbicides were taken from immediately beneath the barrels. It is highly unlikely that the ground in the vicinity area is polluted with dioxins of higher levels.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Agent Orange Day 10 August 2014
Agent Orange is a chemical the U.S military used during the Vietnam War to deny the Vietnamese and Viet Cong food and cover by spraying the herbicide on vegetation across huge areas of the country. This had horrific health effects on Vietnamese people and on Australian veterans and their families.

Agent Orange exposure and disease prevalence in Korean Vietnam veterans: The Korean veterans health study
Between 1961 and 1971, military herbicides were used by the United States and allied forces for military purposes. Agent Orange, the most-used herbicide, was a mixture of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and contained an impurity of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Many Korean Vietnam veterans were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between Agent Orange exposure and the prevalence of diseases of the endocrine, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems. The Agent Orange exposure was assessed by a geographic information system-based model. A total of 111,726 Korean Vietnam veterans were analyzed for prevalence using the Korea National Health Insurance claims data from January 2000 to September 2005. After adjusting for covariates, the high exposure group had modestly elevated odds ratios (ORs) for endocrine diseases combined and neurologic diseases combined. The adjusted ORs were significantly higher in the high exposure group than in the low exposure group for hypothyroidism (OR=1.13), autoimmune thyroiditis (OR=1.93), diabetes mellitus (OR=1.04), other endocrine gland disorders including pituitary gland disorders (OR=1.43), amyloidosis (OR=3.02), systemic atrophies affecting the nervous system including spinal muscular atrophy (OR=1.27), Alzheimer disease (OR=1.64), peripheral polyneuropathies (OR=1.09), angina pectoris (OR=1.04), stroke (OR=1.09), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) including chronic bronchitis (OR=1.05) and bronchiectasis (OR=1.16), asthma (OR=1.04), peptic ulcer (OR=1.03), and liver cirrhosis (OR=1.08). In conclusion, Agent Orange exposure increased the prevalence of endocrine disorders, especially in the thyroid and pituitary gland; various neurologic diseases; COPD; and liver cirrhosis. Overall, this study suggests that Agent Orange/2,4-D/TCDD exposure several decades earlier may increase morbidity from various diseases, some of which have rarely been explored in previous epidemiologic studies.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

House Bill 4816 Gains Support - Is Your Representative on This List?

Honor Veterans by helping their children get the proper care
House Bill 4816 for the "military veterans' children's center" now has the following supporters in the House of Representatives:
Ed Pastor, AZ-7
Rep. Nick Rahall, WV-3
Rep. Filemon Vela, TX-34
Rep. Nita Lowey, NY-17
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU] - 6/9/2014
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-13] - 6/9/2014
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 6/20/2014
Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. [AS] - 6/10/2014
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-3] - 6/9/2014
Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-26] - 6/9/2014
Rep Keating, William R. [MA-9] - 6/9/2014
Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] - 6/9/2014
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-13] - 6/9/2014

Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-2] - 6/10/2014
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-32] - 6/9/2014
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 6/10/2014

Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] - 6/10/2014

Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 6/9/2014

Is Your Representative A Co-Sponsor of H.R. 4816? Why Not?

Pass into law HR 411: The Fort McClellan Toxic Exposure Health Registry

We who are the sick and dying NEED YOUR HELP!
From 1935 to 1999 Fort McClellan was a very toxic base. Military and civilians were exposed to a chemical soup comprised of: Agent Orange, Agent Blue, Sarin, VX, uranium, and PCBs from the Monsanto plant.
There were approximately 650,000 soldiers who were trained and stationed at Fort McClellan and many of them are ill with the same illnesses...a coincidence.....probably not. The EPA closed Fort McClellan in 1999; Monsanto settled a 700 million dollar claim with Anniston, Alabama (where Fort McClellan is located) and there has been no settlement thus far with of the Fort Mac Survivors---the ones exposed to all these chemicals. .... any there are thousands of vets who do not even know about the fact they were exposed to these chemicals.
We need HR 411 passed ... WITH NO MORE DELAY!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This Is Only Successful If You Act Now!

Is Your Representative A Co-Sponsor of H.R. 4816?

The Toxic Exposure Research and Military Family Support Act of 2014 was introduced June 9, 2014 by Representative Mike Honda (D-CA-17)
If enacted into law it will Direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to:
  • select a medical center in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to serve as the national center (Center) for the diagnosis, treatment, and research of health conditions of descendants (i.e., a biological child, grandchild, or great-grandchild) of individuals exposed to toxic substances while serving as members of the Armed Forces that are related to that exposure;
  • establish an advisory board to advise the center to determine which health conditions result from exposure to toxic substances and to study and evaluate cases of exposure of current and former members of the Armed Forces to toxic substances; and
  • establish an Office of Extramural Research to conduct research on wounds, illnesses, injuries, and other conditions suffered by active members of the Armed Forces resulting from exposure to toxic substances and to assist the Advisory Board in considering claims of exposure to toxic substances.