Sunday, April 25, 2010

Health Effects of the Vietnam War - The Aftermath

Attention All Vietnam Veterans
Health Effects of the Vietnam War - The Aftermath
Committee Meeting on May 5, 2010
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Place: Cannon House Office Building
Room: 334

Any Vietnam Veterans, Wives, Widows, Caregivers and Advocates that wish to attend can do so.
Those Veterans wishing to attend, please wear your hats that say Vietnam Veteran on it or your unit patch or crest.

Please respond to

Friday, April 23, 2010

H. R. 2254 and S-1939

This life-saving bill is designed to extend the presumption of herbicide (Agent Orange) exposure to US Navy veterans serving offshore. Informally, we are told that members of the House are hesitant to move because of its potential cost. It is estimated that approximately 265,000 “blue water” Navy and/or US Marine Corps personnel or their surviving family members will file claims if these two bills become law.

In 1999, the Royal Australian Department of Veterans Affairs discovered Agent Orange related cancers among sailors of their Navy who had never set foot in Vietnam . Australian Sailors were developing cancer at an even higher rate than those who served on the ground. The Australians found that the distilling process, used by ships to convert salt water to potable drinking water, was using contaminated water. That process actually enhanced the effect of the dioxin producing an Agent Orange cocktail that was ingested by the sailors through their drinking water. The American VA has inexplicably rejected the study. Although the Australians have granted an exposure presumption for over five years, the Americans continue to deny the claims.

In July of 2009, the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM)’s committee on Agent Orange independently validated the Australian report and recommended that the exposure presumption be extended to the Navy veterans. The IOM is required by law to provide recommendations and scientific support to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA has rejected the IOM recommendation without adequate explanation.

H. R. 2254 and S-1939 will correct this problem.

Paul Sutton

Dow Chemical urged to take responsibility for AO victims
A large number of social activists and US war veterans joined others in an April 18 demonstration demanding the Dow Chemical Company to take responsibility for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims in Vietnam.

The demonstration was organised by the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign in New York’s Brooklyn district, where the Dow-sponsored Live Earth “Run for Water” event took place.

It was just one in a series of ‘run and walk’ events across the globe, organised by the environmental organisation Live Earth to raise awareness on the scarcity of safe water.

The demonstration’s organisers said Dow is abusing such activities as the “Run for Water” to whitewash its culpability in polluting water sources and destroying eco-systems in Vietnam and other places.

Dow, Monsanto and many other US chemical companies cashed in on billions of USD from producing AO and other toxic substances, which were sprayed across Vietnam by US troops during the 1961-1971 period.

Monsanto Board of Directors
Board of Directors

• Frank V. AtLee, III
• John W. Bachmann
• David L. Chicoine
• Janice L. Fields
• Hugh Grant
• Arthur H. Harper
• Gwendolyn S. King
• C. Steven McMillan
• William U. Parfet
• George H. Poste, Ph. D., D.V.M.
• Robert J. Stevens

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More from George Claxton

Dr. Jacqueline Moline authored a study titled "Health Consquences of the September 11 World Trade Center Attacks: A Review:. In the study she documented that "a large number of people sustained potential exposures to smoke, dust, particulate matter, and a variety of toxins, including asbestos, pulverized concrete, glass fibers, polyaromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs), and polychlorinated furans and dioxins:. This study was published in the journal CANCER INVESTIGATION, vol. 24(3), p. 294-301, 3 May 2006.

The above study was followed up by another study titled "Multiple Myeloma in World Trade Center Responders: A Case Series". In this study she documented "In this case series, we observe an unusual number of Multiple Myeloma cases in World Trade Center responders under 45 years".

Although the numbers are small, there is growing scientific evidence that multiple myeloma is highly related to exposure to dioxin like poisons in humans from industrial accidents. This study was published in the JOURNAL of OCCUPATIONAL and ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, vol. 51(8), p. 896-902, August, 2009.

George Claxton
State Service Director, Vietnam Veterans of America, State of Michigan Council, 1980's to 2000.
National Chairman, Vietnam Veterans of America, Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee, 1986 to 2000.

Dr. Jacqueline Moline
In the aftermath of the September 11 World Trade Center (WTC) attack, a large number of people sustained potential exposures to smoke, dust, particulate matter, and a variety of toxins, including asbestos, pulverized concrete, glass fibers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated furans and dioxins. Additionally, many had exposure to psychological traumatogens. The most common effects seen to date are respiratory and mental health consequences. The long-term consequences of exposures are not yet known, and there remains concern about the potential for late-emerging diseases such as cancers. This article reviews WTC-related health effects, the spectrum of exposures and how they were documented, and discusses future preventive efforts.;jsessionid=1b1llgiwgt3cy.victoria

Researchers are examinging respiratory illnesses among some of the first responders to the World Trade Center catastrophe. Scientists are looking at the effects of the dust from the collapsing, burning buildings, and how that dust may have interacted with an enzyme deficiency in some of the rescue workers to produce what has come to be known as the "World Trade Center Cough.'
Listen at

Environ Health Perspect. 2004 May; 112(6): 731–739.

Dow Chemical Accused of Greenwashing by Agent Orange Victims
Published 19 Apr 2010
Activists took to Exposition Park yesterday morning to confront and protest Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the Live Earth Run for Water. Organized by the Vietnam Agent Orange Responsibility and Relief Campaign, the corporation was accused of “greenwashing” its reputation through the event which was aimed at confronting the water crisis. As Dow was a chief manufacturer of the chemical weapon Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, activists called on the corporation to clean up remaining contamination in the Southeast Asian country and pay compensation to victims of the toxic chemical defoliant. Agent Orange has been linked to numerous health problems including birth defects, breast cancer and ovarian tumors.

Dow Chemical, Board of Directors

Andrew N. Liveris
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
John B. Hess
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
Hess Corporation; Member of the Board of Directors since 2006
Arnold A. Allemang
Member of the Board of Directors
since 1996
Paul Polman
Chief Executive Officer
Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V.
Member of the Board of Directors since February 2010
Jacqueline K. Barton
Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology; Member of the Board of Directors since 1993
Dennis H. Reilley
Former Chairman, Covidien, Ltd.; Member of the Board of Directors since 2007
James A. Bell
Executive Vice President, Finance, Chief Financial Officer, The Boeing Company; Member of the Board of Directors since 2005
James M. Ringler
Chairman, Teradata Corporation; Member of the Board of Directors since 2001
Jeff M. Fettig
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
Whirlpool Corporation; Member of the Board of Directors since 2003
Ruth G. Shaw
Former Executive Advisor, Duke Energy Corporation; Member of the Board of Directors since 2005
Barbara Hackman Franklin
President and Chief Executive Officer, Barbara Franklin Enterprises and Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Member of the Board of Directors
from 1980 to 1992 and 1993 to date
Paul G. Stern
Dow Presiding Director,
Chairman, Claris Capital; Member of the Board of Directors since 1992

Monday, April 19, 2010

Birth Defect Research for Children Mother's Day Eco Boutique


Mother's Day is May 9th

This Mother's Day, honor your mother, wife or an expectant mom with a gift that keeps giving by shopping online at our Mother's Day Eco-Boutique All boutique items are eco-friendly and 100% of the proceeds benefit Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC). BDRC's mission is to find the causes of birth defects and assist families with children who have birth defects.

The Mother's Day Eco-Boutique opened our online doors on Friday April 9th, 2010 (9:00 a.m. EST) and will close on April 29th, 2010 (12:00a.m. EST). To shop, visit the Mother's Day Eco Boutique at

Betty Mekdeci
Birth Defect Research for Children

Great Products From Green Companies
Shop Early! Quantities are Limited!

Organic Roses

Organic Bouquet's sweetheart pink roses will show Mom your love, gratitude and appreciation with a dozen long-stemmed beauties. This splendid bouquet of velvety deep pink blossoms from Organic Bouquet opens perfectly with abundant petals.

Alex and Ani Silver Bangle
Alex and Ani's bangle in Russian silver is emblematic of life's zenith and nadir moments,. This charm illustrates life's twists, turns and unexpected winds, all the while complimenting the beauty in its pattern. Alex and Ani's bangles are designed to wear alone or to layer for a customized look. Set of triple bangles, one with seed pearls. Proudly made in America from Recycled Materials.

Lavender Truffles

Sjaak's Organic Chocolates...Lavender Truffle Box-Limited Edition from Sjaak's Organic Chocolates.This beautiful detailed handmade box is filled with creamy dark chocolate lavender truffles. The truffles come in a heart shape wrapped in lavender foil.

Global Girlfriend.. Give the gift of luxury in true Victorian fashion! This "spa-day-in-a-box" helps connect you to women artisans creating a new life for themselves and their community. Handmade and fairly traded iVictorian Gift Boxn Africa. Padded gift box includes lavender sachet, natural soap, candle in stone candle holder and a bundle of bath salts.

And this is just a sample of so many wonderful products donated by companies in our Green Family Market.

About Us

The foundation of Birth Defect Research for Children's funding comes from your donations. OurMother's Day Eco Boutique is a way you can support BDRC and send a lovely gift or card for Mother's Day. You may even want to buy a gift for yourself since our Green Family Market companies have donated such wonderful products. Every donation you make means we can help another family; investigate another cluster of birth defects and continue research through the National Birth Defect Registry.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

H.R.2254 - Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009
VA Proposes Change to Aid Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

April 11, 2010 posted by Robert L. Hanafin

According to Tom Philpott in his article New Agent Orange Rule to Allow Retro Claims by 86,000 about 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs — an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors — under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases presumed caused by herbicide exposure in the war.

The VA issued a media release on March 25, 2010 that covers changes in Agent Orange claims in a broader context.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

12th Annual In Memory Ceremony

When: Monday, April 19 at 10 a.m.

Where: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Constitution Ave. and 21st St. NW, Washington D.C. Parking along Constitution Ave. is permitted after 9:30 a.m.

"In memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice."

Who: Nearly 700 family members, friends and veterans are expected to attend this year's ceremony. Family members will read aloud the names of their loved ones being honored and will place tributes at the panel of The Wall that corresponds most closely to the honorees' dates of service. Throughout the ceremony, volunteers and friends will read the names of the 1,874 past honorees. The ceremony is open to the public.


- Brig. Gen. George Price, USA (Ret.), keynote speaker
- Richard C. Schneider, executive director for government affairs, NCOA, master of ceremonies
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska)
- Lynda Benedict, wife of 1998 honoree Christopher Benedict, pledge of allegiance
- Thomas Buckley, husband of 2009 honoree Lynda Van Devanter Buckley
- Staff Sgt. Robert Lupo Sr., USA (Ret.), reading the poem "Emotions."
- Terry E. Brown, supervisory park ranger, National Mall and Memorial Parks
In Memory Day Ceremony will honor 97 individuals who died as a result of the Vietnam War, but who do not meet the Department of Defense guidelines for inclusion on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. For a list of 2010 In Memory honorees by state, click here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Documentary Recounts Struggle of Agent Orange Veterans

Chuck Pallazo
"Agent Orange is an indictment of US foreign policy and corporate greed, as well as being a celebration of love’s ability to face enormous adversity" -Masako Sakata
Greg Davis, shown during the Vietnam War period and more recently, died four years ago from cancer related to Agent Orange contamination in Vietnam.
Greg Davis, shown during the Vietnam War period and in a more recent image, died four years ago from liver cancer related to Agent Orange contamination in Vietnam.
(DA NANG, Vietnam) - Our friend and fellow activist, Masako Sakata, has made her extraordinary documentary film available via the on-line Russian TV Channel.
Masako explains that it was four years ago when Greg Davis, her husband of more than 30 years, died at the age of 54.
She said, "The cause was liver cancer, suspected to be brought on by his exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange while he served in the US army in Vietnam."
12% of the soil of South Vietnam was contaminated with 19 million gallons of defoliants, sprayed between 1961 and 1970, 12 million of which were Agent Orange, which contained dioxin - the most toxic chemical invented by man.
"To deal with my sadness and loneliness, and to find out about lingering Agent Orange after-effects, I returned to Vietnam.I found the victims everywhere, so immediate and present," Masako said.
"Children who were not even born then are suffering from all kinds of deformities and illnesses. In spite of such difficulties and poverty, everywhere I found love, caring and warmth. Meeting the victims and their families helped me heal".
The documentary also reveals some of the historical facts that led to unprecedented ecological disaster; a subject we cover frequently at
in Masako's words, "Agent Orange is an indictment of US foreign policy and corporate greed, as well as being a celebration of love’s ability to face enormous adversity."

Read More:

Saturday, April 10, 2010


The Holybees
By Jim Belshaw

The Holybee’s story is brought to you by The Vietnam Veterans Peace Initiative.

Sonja Holybee says of her oldest child, Stephanie, 35: “She will not give in to it.”
She says the same thing of her other two children, Melisa, 33, and Dan, 30. But Stephanie is the oldest, the first to be diagnosed with illnesses never before found in either her immediate family or the extended families of her parents.
Her mother can find only a single connector: “I feel that the only way Stephanie could have gotten any of these things is from Agent Orange,” Sonja says. “There’s nothing in me or my family or in Ken’s family that shows this stuff showing up. The lone factor is Agent Orange.”
Sonja’s husband, Ken, former VVA California State Council President and an Army veteran, served in I Corps. He swam in Vietnam’s rivers; he was sprayed frequently with Agent Orange by the lumbering aircraft charged with the mission of killing vegetation in Vietnam. Ken reports they were told that they were killing Mosquitoes.
He has not been diagnosed with any Agent Orange-connected disease by the VA.

But disease has been visited upon his children. Stephanie was the first, diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and Raynaud’s Phenomenon.
A brief visit to is required to draw an elemental picture of what the young woman faces in her life.

Significant numbers of Vietnam veterans have children and grandchildren with birth defects related to exposure to Agent Orange. To alert legislators and the media to this ongoing legacy of the war, we are seeking real stories about real people. If you wish to share your family’s health struggles that you believe are due to Agent Orange/dioxin, send an email to or call 301-585-4000, Ext. 146.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

US, Vietnam Make Progress on Agent Orange Clean Up
FrontLines - March 2010
By Richard Nyberg

HANOI—Vietnam and the United States are working to clean up soil and sediment contaminated with dioxin, a chemical in the defoliant Agent Orange.

Dr. Lai Minh Hien of Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (center) explains dioxin contamination in Sen Lake, near Danang Airport, to, left to right, USAID Vietnam Director Frank Donovan; Nguyen Manh Hung of East Meets West; Andrew Herrup, environment, science, technology & health officer from the U.S. Embassy; and Vietnamese officials.
A recently signed memorandum of understanding outlines how the U.S. and Vietnam governments will continue to improve environmental, health, and social conditions around Danang Airport, where Agent Orange was stored during the Vietnam War.

Michael Michalak, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, said the agreement “marks an important milestone and a new level of commitment in working together to find new and innovative solutions to a complex problem.”

Photo by Richard Nyberg, USAID

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Agent Orange Retro Claims Allowed

Tom Philpott | April 01, 2010 /
New Agent Orange Rule to Allow Retro Claims by 86,000

About 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs -- an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors -- under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases presumed caused by herbicide exposure in the war.

The 86,000 are beneficiaries who can reopen previously denied claims for these conditions: ischemic heart disease, Parkinson's disease and chronic B-cell blood cancers including hairy cell leukemia. But another 29,000 claims are expected to be approved this year for Vietnam veterans suffering from these diseases but applying for benefits for the first time.

The projected cost of this dramatic expansion of claims linked to Agent Orange and other defoliants deployed four decades ago is $13.6 billion this fiscal year and $42.2 billion over 10 years. VA plans to hire 1772 new claims processors, starting this October, to be able to handle these claims "without significantly degrading the processing of the non-presumptive workload."

In the proposed rule published March 25 in the Federal Register, VA officials explained that Secretary Eric Shinseki has cut the usual 60-day public comment period by half "to promote rapid action" on these claims.

When a final rule is published, soon after April 26, VA claim offices across the country can begin making payments. Veterans with these diseases will need to show they set foot in Vietnam during the war. Those who served aboard ship just off the coast remain ineligible.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Judge halts Agent Orange class-action lawsuit

Rosie Gillingham, St. John's Telegram: Thursday, April 1, 2010

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A Court of Appeal has decertified a class-action lawsuit relating to Agent Orange at a former military base in New Brunswick.

More than 3,000 people from across Canada were involved in a class-action lawsuit against the government and the chemical manufacturers.

They were seeking compensation for being exposed to Agent Orange.

However, a decision by Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal Justice Margaret Cameron to overturn a previous ruling by a lower court means the claimants now have to file individual lawsuits.

That process would be more costly and time-consuming.

Retired Brig. Gen. Ed Ring of St. John's, who put his name forward on behalf of all the claimants in the lawsuit, was unavailable for comment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Last minute action to protect infants from Dioxin | April 1, 2010

Did you know that almost every baby in America is born pre-polluted with dioxin, one of the most toxic and cancer-causing chemicals known to man? Unbelievable, right?

What's even more shocking is the EPA's proposed cleanup standard for dioxin does not even take this into consideration! Dioxin is so persistent and pervasive in our environment (thanks to polluting corporations like Dow Chemical), even infants are exposed to this chemical in the womb.

Can you send a quick e-mail to EPA and tell them they can't ignore our body burden of Dioxin, especially for infants and children? EPA needs to recalculate their cleanup guidelines to take our body burden into account. We only have one more day to tell EPA we want stronger cleanup guidelines for Dioxin.

1. Send EPA an e-mail with a picture of your baby, child, or grandchild and tell them they can't ignore the fact that babies are born pre-polluted with potentially harmful levels of Dioxin. You can do this by copying and pasting a photo into a Word document, and send the attachement to EPA.

2. Send your e-mail to the EPA here: and cc us here:

3. You can visit or to see an example and use this as a model. Feel free to copy the text in this e-mail.

4. You can learn more about dioxin by visiting CHEJ's website:

The deadline for comments is the end of the day this Friday, so please send your message by the end of the day Friday.

Here's why this is so important: dioxin builds up in our bodies over our lifetime can remain there for many years. The levels of dioxin in our bodies are at or near the levels known to cause harm. The half life of dioxin (the amount of time it takes for half of a given amount of dioxin to break down) in people ranges from seven to eleven years!

Thanks for your help!

Yours for a healthy future,

Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator
Center for Health, Environment & Justice

PS - On Facebook? So are we -- you can be our friend here:

US and Vietnam sign nuclear energy agreement
Published: 3/30/10, 2:05 AM EDT

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The United States and Vietnam signed an agreement Tuesday that may pave the way for U.S. firms to help build nuclear plants in the Southeast Asian country as it strives to meet booming energy demand.

The new agreement addresses nuclear safety and nonproliferation concerns and is a prerequisite to a deal that could allow companies like Westinghouse and General Electric to participate in Vietnam's nuclear energy sector.

"This is an important moment in our bilateral relations," U.S. Ambassador Michael Michalak said during a signing ceremony with Le Dinh Tien, Vietnam's vice minister of science and technology.