Tuesday, February 20, 2018

AGENT ORANGE TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE


Vietnam, US begin Agent Orange cleanup at former wartime air base

Bien Hoa Airport is the largest remaining dioxin hotspot in Vietnam. 
Vietnam and the U.S. have kickstarted the process of cleaning up the dioxin around Bien Hoa Airport, a heavily contaminated zone just outside Ho Chi Minh City.
The process formally began on Tuesday with the signing of a Memorandum of Intent between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Military Science Department under Vietnam's Ministry of Defense.
USAID will be working with the Vietnamese ministry to first design a remediation program before implementing it over the next few years.
“The only way to begin a long journey is to take the first step. The Memorandum of Intent is that first step, and the journey begins today," said U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink, who witnessed the signing together with Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Defense.
"The United States looks forward to working with the Ministry of National Defense on this important initiative, deepening our partnership further, and building a prosperous future for both our countries.”
The campaign to decontaminate Bien Hoa is part of the two countries' cooperation that started in 2000 to resolve humanitarian and wartime legacies while continuing to strengthen their economic, cultural and security ties.
It will also be the second time the U.S. has been directly involved in a dioxin cleanup effort in Vietnam, following USAID and the defense ministry's $110 million campaign that took five years to clean dioxin-contaminated soil at Da Nang International Airport, which started in 2012.

Women at war: The crucible of Vietnam

Highlights 
Physical health of women deployed to Vietnam was influenced by warzone experiences. 
Career military women Vietnam veterans are happier than women in general population. 
Military and non-military Vietnam service women less likely to marry or have kids.
Paper provides insight to mostly unstudied lives of American women of Vietnam War. 
ABSTRACT - Relatively little has been written about the military women who served in Vietnam, and there is virtually no literature on deployed civilian women (non-military). We examined the experiences of 1285 American women, military and civilian, who served in Vietnam during the war and responded to a mail survey conducted approximately 25 years later in which they were asked to report and reflect upon their experiences and social and health histories.
We compare civilian women, primarily American Red Cross workers, to military women stratified by length of service, describe their demographic characteristics and warzone experiences (including working conditions, exposure to casualties and sexual harassment), and their homecoming following Vietnam. We assess current health and well-being and also compare the sample to age- and temporally-comparable women in the General Social Survey (GSS), with which our survey shared some measures.

Fetal exposure markers of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs

ABSTRACT - Fetal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated-p-dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) have been associated with a number of adverse health outcomes. Although the placenta acts as a barrier between the mother and the fetus, these contaminants transfer through the placenta exposing the fetus. Several studies have investigated placental transfer...KEEP READING

Thursday, February 15, 2018

AGENT ORANGE TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE CHANGE

We update our meetings regularly on the Town Hall Meeting Calendar:

Change International Falls, Minnesota to May 12th

May 12, 2018
International Falls, Minnesota
Contact Carissa MacLean 218-283-1179
Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402

Food activists from Nevada County take on Biotech Goliath, Monsanto in court

Since her early days of activism in the 1960s protesting the Vietnam War when she was an undergrad student in Texas, Grass Valley resident Pamela Osgood has been arrested 150 times as a practicing "steward of the world."
Last May, her loyalty to the health of the human race landed her in the Woodland Jail after she and a small band of folks from Nevada County and other parts of the state formed a blockade in front of Monsanto's largest seed research center in the U.S.
Monsanto is a Fortune 500, modern agricultural company that employs over 20,000 people globally in 69 countries, according to Monsanto's website. Monsanto, acquired by Bayer Crop Science Ag in 2016, is known for its biotech seeds like Roundup Ready Corn.
"The work that is going on in there is really dreadful. We have to get people educated about what Monsanto is doing. Monsanto is poisoning everyone," Osgood said.
Osgood and her sister (a grandmother) were among 10 environmental and human rights activists known as the "Monsanto 10" arrested in the early morning last spring when they tried to block Monsanto staffers arriving to work at the 90,000-square-foot research facility in Yolo County. The protest was one of more than 400 "Anti-Monsanto/Anti-GMO" demonstrations held worldwide in 47 states and 52 countries on six continents.

Why Is Roundup Still Used In Hawaii?

We should make public the names of government officials who approve the use of such poisonous chemicals.
Despite the demands made by residents of Hawaii to end the use of Roundup in the islands, the state continues to spray in parks and public areas with this cousin of Agent Orange.
When the Honolulu Parks Department was queried as to why it continues using a known carcinogen that’s been banned in many cities in the United States and several countries around the world and is involved in more than a dozen lawsuits, including a class-action suit, the reply was that its use was state-approved.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s 3,000-acre Superfund cleanup site in Kunia on Oahu exists because a “state-approved pesticide” was used for pineapple.

After reading a recent opinion piece titled Why Is Roundup Still Used In Hawaii? I wanted to correct some of the misinformation contained in the article.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in many Roundup-branded weed control products, as well as many other weed control products marketed under different names by different companies. It is used by homeowners, gardeners, farmers, businesses and government agencies to control a lot of different weeds.
Weed control is important. Weeds can cause farmers to lose yields, harbor insect pests, be invasive, create hazard along roadways and be a pest in landscaping.
To be clear, glyphosate is not a “cousin” to Agent Orange, as the article stated. They are not chemically similar. Glyphosate has nothing to do with an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in Kunia, as the piece seems to suggest.

Friday, February 9, 2018

AGENT ORANGE TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE


We update our meetings regularly on the Town Hall Meeting Calendar:







February 10, 2018
Mesa, Arizona
Contact Chuck Byers 480-258-7105

February 24, 2018
Mitchell, South Dakota
Contact: Terry Mayer
605-830-2011
Maynard Kaderlik
507-581-6402

March 20, 2018
Cape Coral, Florida
Contact: Stuart Berman
239-220-2369

March 24, 2018
Portland, Oregon
Contact: Don Curtis 503-913-1787 
Tom Owen  541-619-8187

April 7, 2018
Marshalltown, Iowa
Contact John Kost
515-212-0741

April 8, 2018
Stratford, New Jersey
Contact: Mike Eckstein
201-874-1664

April 21, 2018
Sanborn, New York
Contact:   Gordon L. Bellinger
716-625-4470

April 21, 2018
International Falls, Minnesota
Contact Carissa MacLean 218-283-1179
Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402

April 29, 2018
Mayetta, Kansas
Contact:Roland Mayhew 785-249-4517
Thomas Wabnum 785-554-5248                                                                       
Vlas Ortiz 785-554-3949

Guam EPA: Agent Orange testing yet to start

More than a year after Gov. Eddie Calvo instructed the Guam Environmental Protection Agency to test for traces of Agent Orange, a hazardous defoliant, actual sampling and testing have yet to take place but a work plan is now being developed.
Guam EPA public information officer Nic Rupley on Friday said a contractor hired by the military is now finalizing a work plan, which serves as a guide for sampling, how the testing will be carried out and how the outcome will be interpreted, among other things.
Rupley said Guam EPA has been working with the Department of Defense on the Agent Orange investigation. He said the military awarded a contract to develop the work plan, but a contract for the field work, which includes actual sampling and testing, has yet to be awarded.
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje wrote a Feb. 1 letter to Guam EPA Administrator Walter Leon Guerrero, seeking an update on the Agent Orange investigation that the governor asked the agency to conduct in January 2017.
"I am hoping that we can shed light on this investigation in order to find answers for our residents and veterans," Terlaje wrote. Local residents, she said, have stated that family members who worked on military properties have since died from cancer.

April 15 dicamba spraying ban in place for Arkansas

On Friday morning, the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC) passed a proposal to ban the spraying of dicamba in the state after April 15.
The passage was a quiet affair compared to a subcommittee hearing at the capitol three days earlier, which came on the heels of a wintry storm. At that hearing, lawmakers heard some three hours of impassioned testimony from those wanting the April cutoff date and those wanting it pushed into May or June. On a split vote, the subcommittee sent the dicamba proposal package to the full ALC.
The cutoff proposal first came to the legislature last fall following nearly 1,000 off-target dicamba drift complaints and numerous meetings of both the Arkansas State Plant Board and a dicamba task force set up by the governor.

Friday, February 2, 2018

AGENT ORANGE TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE


We update our meetings regularly on the Town Hall Meeting Calendar:





February 10, 2018
Mesa, Arizona
Contact Chuck Byers 480-258-7105

February 24, 2018
Mitchell, South Dakota
Contact: Terry Mayer
605-830-2011
Maynard Kaderlik
507-581-6402

March 20, 2018
Cape Coral, Florida
Contact: Stuart Berman
239-220-2369

March 24, 2018
Portland, Oregon
Contact: Don Curtis 503-913-1787 
Tom Owen  541-619-8187

April 7, 2018
Marshalltown, Iowa
Contact John Kost
515-212-0741

April 21, 2018
Sanborn, New York
Contact:   Gordon L. Bellinger
716-625-4470

April 21, 2018
International Falls, Minnesota
Contact Carissa MacLean 218-283-1179
Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402

April 29, 2018
Mayetta, Kansas
Contact:Roland Mayhew 785-249-4517
Thomas Wabnum 785-554-5248                                                                       
Vlas Ortiz 785-554-3949

This problem is not going away -Act Now!

Nearly one in four Vietnam War combat veterans who participated in a small study at the Northport VA to detect past infestations of the cancer-causing liver fluke parasite tested positive, according to a paper penned by researchers at the VA Medical Center.
The pilot study, titled “Screening US Vietnam Veterans for Liver Fluke Exposure 5 Decades After the End of the War,” is in the current edition of the periodical Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Northport conducted the study last spring, after Vietnam combat veteran Jerry Chiano of Valley Stream was diagnosed with bile-duct cancer in 2013. Chiano died in November. 
Northport examined 97 Vietnam War veterans and selected 50 who met the inclusion criteria of having eaten undercooked freshwater fish while serving in Vietnam. Blood samples collected at Northport were subjected to serological examinations performed by researchers at Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea because no facility in the United States is equipped to identify the antigen marker that shows the parasite was once present.
Two members of Congress — Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) — released statements calling for a broader study to determine whether wartime exposure to liver fluke should be considered service-related.
“The Northport Medical VA Center’s groundbreaking study confirms what many vets have asserted: some of our brave Vietnam veterans were, in fact, exposed to cancer-causing parasites when serving overseas,” Schumer said in a release.
“I am urging the VA to move forward with developing a treatment, screening and awareness program to help our Vietnam veterans who may be at risk to developing bile duct cancer in the future,” Schumer said.
Suozzi said the VA should move quickly to address the study’s findings.
“There must be a lot of anxiety in the Vietnam veterans community and we should try to alleviate that anxiety by actually getting firm answers,” Suozzi said.
Liver flukes are parasitic worms that spend part of their life cycle in freshwater snails that inhabit rivers throughout parts of the Far East, including Southeast Asia, China and the Korean Peninsula. The snails release larvae that burrow into the flesh of fish and can infest the bile ducts of humans who eat the fish. They can reside symptomless in a victim’s body for decades.
The adult worm is believed to release an irritant during its quarter-century life span — an irritant that can lead to cancerous lesions in the bile duct decades after the parasitic infestation has died out. In some south Asian villages where raw fish consumption is part of the culture, more than one in two people harbor liver fluke infestations, according to parasitologists.
Some activists have likened the seriousness of fluke exposure in Vietnam veterans to Agent Orange, a class of dioxin-contaminated herbicides believed to have tainted hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops. The VA pays disability claims to Vietnam veterans who suffer from any of a host of maladies linked to Agent Orange exposure, from heart disease to bladder cancer.
Since 2013, the VA has received 240 disability claims related to bile-duct cancers associated with liver fluke, the agency said. It had rejected more than 76 percent of those claims.