ROCHESTER, Minn. – Agent Orange is a herbicide that was used by the
United States during the Vietnam War and to this day we’re still
learning of the health effects caused by exposure to it.
In 1991 the Agent Orange Act was passed and helped begin the
understanding of toxic wounds of war and the government’s responsibility
to them. However, the AOA Agent Orange Act, is set to expire at the end
of September 2015. Now, a local law-maker is pushing for an extension.
Since the original AOA of 1991, scientists have been able to connect
more diseases with Agent Orange exposure. In fact, next spring, the
National Academy of Science is expected to release its final report on
Agent Orange exposure. However AOA will expire the next month.
U.S. Congressman Tim Walz (DFL – Minnesota) recently introduced the
Agent Orange Extension Act of 2015 that extends that original deadline.
Walz says that is vital for making sure the Vietnam vets exposed
received compensation and care.
“I think sometimes we forget, especially folks who are a little
younger, how big that deal was in 1991 when we finally added Agent
Orange as a cause of these diseases and I just don’t want to let this
slip away before we make sure we’ve covered it all.”
Walz says without studies the National Academy of Sciences have done
with Agent Orange exposure, thousands of Vietnam era Vets would have
gone without the medical benefits they so greatly deserve.