Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Agent Orange/Dioxin Kills Children

for your own Agent Orange/Dioxin Kills Children bumper sticker send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to:

Agent Orange Zone

4966 N. Sunset Ave., Fresno, CA 93704

Thanks to VVA Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee Chairman Emeritus George Claxton

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dioxin cleanup project kicks off in central Vietnam
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched Friday a project to clean up dioxin at the Phu Cat airbase in the central province of Binh Dinh.

Under the project, a landfill site will be used to isolate 5,400 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated soil at the airbase.

The landfill site is part of a US$5 million project launched by UNDP and GEF in July 2010. The project focuses on supporting Vietnam to remediate dioxin contamination at the three hotspots, including Phu Cat airbase.

It also aims to minimize disruption to ecosystems and health risks for people from the release of dioxin from the contaminated hotspots. The Office of the National Steering Committee 33 (Office 33) in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for implementing the project.

“This is a clear reminder that poisoning our environment is akin to poisoning ourselves,” said Ms Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, at the groundbreaking ceremony.


Agent Orange Battle Rages

John Bury is committed to fighting on behalf of 250,000 Vietnam Navy veterans against the very government they swore to protect — even as that government slowly poisoned them.

Battling his fourth cancer in eight years, Bury, of Middletown, said two of his cancers — prostate cancer and T-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma — are on the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs list of presumptive diseases from dioxin, a poisonous chemical herbicide commonly known as Agent Orange. Bury’s ureter-kidney cancer and bladder cancer, both of which he has been cleared, are not on the list.

The retired petty officer, first class, wrote two letters to the editor appearing the in the Daily Times over the past three months. Now, the retired Westtown School safety director is calling for the support of two bills aimed at helping his Navy brethren.

“I will write to my last breath,” said Bury. “I will talk to whoever will listen.”

Death from Above

Dissatisfied with what he considered the U.S. military’s inability to deal with insurgents in Vietnam during the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy became increasingly interested in the use of special operations strategies and counter-insurgency warfare, said Villanova University political science professor Dr. David Barrett.


Are You Eating, Drinking and Breathing Monsanto's New Agent Orange?
Dec-16-2011 14:49printcomments
Sayer Ji Special to
Monsanto admits it manufactured Agent Orange, which killed and maimed 400,000 people in Vietnam and resulted in more than 500,000 birth defects.

(NEW YORK) - In a groundbreaking study published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry last month, researchers found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide “Roundup,” is flowing freely into the groundwater in areas where it is being applied.

The researchers found that 41% of the 140 groundwater samples taken from Catalonia Spain, had levels beyond the limit of quantification – indicating that, despite manufacturer’s claims, it does not break down rapidly in the environment, and is accumulating there in concerning quantities.

Why Is Groundwater Contamination An Important Finding?

Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface, that supplies aquifers, wells and springs. If a chemical like glyphosate is mobile enough to get into the groundwater and is intrinsically resistant to being biodegraded (after all, it is being used to kill/degrade living things – not the other way around), significant environmental exposures to humans using the water are inevitable.

Keep in mind that glyphosate is considered by the EPA as a Class III toxic substance, fatal to an adult at 30 grams, and has been linked to over 20 adverse health effects in the peer-reviewed, biomedical literature.

This groundwater contamination study adds to another highly concerning finding from March, published in the journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, where researchers found the chemical in 60-100% of all air and rain samples tested, indicating that glyphosate pollution and exposure is now omnipresent in the US. When simply breathing makes you susceptible to glyphosate exposure, we know we are dealing with a problem of unprecedented scale.

Who Is Responsible For The Groundwater Contamination?

Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, presently dominating the global genetically engineered seed market, with 90% market share in the US alone. It is also the world’s largest producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as “Roundup,” among other brand names. If you are eating corn and soy, or any of their ten thousand plus byproducts – and it does not have a USDA organic logo – you are getting the Monsanto “double whammy”: the genetic modification (GM) of your health (and gene expression) that follows the consumption of GM food (because we are – literally – what we eat), and ceaseless chemical exposure to glyphosate, as all Monsanto-engineered foods have been designed to be glyphosate-resistant, and therefore are saturated with it.


Friday, December 16, 2011

No! Tell me it ain't so.

for your own Agent Orange/Dioxin Kills Children bumper sticker send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to:

Agent Orange Zone

4966 N. Sunset Ave., Fresno, CA 93704

Thanks to VVA Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee Chairman Emeritus George Claxton

Monday, December 12, 2011

VVA Urges All Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange Be Screened for Prostate Cancer
(Washington, D.C.) “Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are at least twice as likely to develop prostate cancer; their recurrence rates are higher; and recurring cancers are more aggressive,” noted Dr. Thomas Berger, Executive Director of VVA’s Veterans Health Council, before today’s Congressional Men’s Health Caucus Prostate Cancer Task Force. Berger urged his fellow Vietnam veterans to get screened, noting “it’s worth the fight.”

Said Berger, “Some three million veterans served in Southeast Asia, and no one knows for sure how many of these veterans were exposed to Agent Orange.” In 1996 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences concluded there is “limited evidence of a positive association between prostate cancer and exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam, including Agent Orange.” As a result of IOM’s findings, Jesse Brown, then-Secretary of the Veterans Administration (VA), issued the final rule, recognizing prostate cancer as a service-connected, presumptive disease associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other phenoxy herbicides during military service, allowing such exposed veterans to become eligible for VA disability compensation and health care.

In 2008, University of California-Davis Cancer Center physicians released results of research showing Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed. The research was also the first to use a large population of men in their 60s and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. More than 13,000 Vietnam veterans enrolled in the VA Northern California Health Care System were stratified into two groups, exposed or not exposed to Agent Orange between 1962 and 1971. Based on medical evaluations conducted between 1998 and 2006, the study revealed that:

§ twice as many Agent Orange-exposed men were identified with prostate cancer than non-exposed;

§ Agent Orange-exposed men were diagnosed two-and-a-half years younger than non-exposed; and

§ Agent Orange-exposed men were nearly four times more likely to present with metastatic disease than non-exposed.

Further buttressing this link, in 2009, a study of 1,495 veterans in five cities who underwent radical prostatectomy to remove their cancerous prostates showed 206 exposed to Agent Orange had a near 50 percent increased risk of their cancer recurring, despite the cancer seeming nonaggressive at the time of surgery. And the cancer came back with a vengeance. The time it took the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, level to double – an indicator of aggressiveness – was eight months versus more than 18 months in non-exposed veterans.
Contact: Mokie Porter
301-585-4000, Ext. 146

DFA, Others Urge White House to Intervene on Dioxin Reassessment
IDFA and other members of the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group, a coalition of agriculture, processing and retail food organizations, today asked the White House to take a role in the Environmental Protection Agency's ongoing efforts to finalize a draft dioxin risk reassessment. In a letter to Melody Barnes, assistant to the president for domestic policy, the coalition expressed its concern that EPA's proposed recommendations would confuse consumers and seriously harm U.S. trade.

The term dioxin refers to a group of chemicals that are byproducts of natural and industrial processes involving combustion, such as forest fires and backyard burning. They are introduced to animals through the air, soil and plants.

Although EPA estimates that 95 percent of dioxin intake comes through food, studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that exposure to dioxin from the environment and the food supply is very low and continues to decline.

"We are concerned with EPA's plan to break from longstanding international science-based dioxin standards and split the reassessment into non-cancer and cancer risk assessments, while setting a reference dose (RfD) for non-cancer risk," the letter said. "Since the primary route of human exposure to dioxin is through food, this would not only mislead and frighten consumers about the safety of their diets, but could have significant negative economic impact on all U.S. food producers."

The coalition urged Barnes to ensure that opinions from all affected federal agencies are considered equally in the administration's approach to dioxin risk. The heads of these agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Trade Representative, also received copies of the letter.

EPA has been working to complete a comprehensive review of dioxin for more than 20 years and recently announced plans to release its final conclusions in January. IDFA sent letters last month to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to express concerns about EPA's approach.


Timeline: Overview of Vietnam naval veterans' struggle for Agent Orange Benefits
(For full coverage, please see Bob Ford's commentary "War Against U.S. Navy Veterans," available online or downloadable in pdf format here Vietnam Navy Veterans War.pdf )

1962 — U.S. military begins spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam.
vietnamwall_Navy vet.JPGA sailor's image is reflected in the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. (AP Photo)
1965 — U.S. starts sending ground troops to Vietnam.
June 1967 — More than 100 ships come through Da Nang Harbor in this month.
Dec. 1, 1969 — The first lottery drawing by the Selective Service.
1973 — President Richard Nixon orders all U.S. troops to withdraw from Vietnam.
1990 — A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that veterans who served in Vietnam have a much higher rate of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma than veterans from the same era who weren’t in Vietnam.
1991 — Congress passes the Agent Orange Act, giving health and disability benefits to anyone who earned the Vietnam Service Medal and suffers from a condition likely caused by Agent Orange exposure.
1997 — A report by the Australian government finds that its Vietnam veterans are dying at a higher rate than non-veterans and that Vietnam navy veterans have the highest early mortality rate.
2002 — The Bush administration begins denying Blue Water Navy veterans disability benefits, claiming sailors were not exposed unless they put “boots on the ground” or traveled on inland waterways.
2004 — The Board of Veterans’ Appeals rules that Da Nang Harbor is an “inland waterway” for the purposes of Agent Orange disability benefits.
2004 — Former Navy Cmdr. Jonathon L. Haas, who served in Vietnam on the USS Mount Katmai and now has two illnesses on the Agent Orange list, files for benefits. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denies his claim because he did not set foot on land.
2006 — Cmdr. Haas appeals his case, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims rules in favor of him receiving Agent Orange-related benefits. Instead of taking this decision as precedent, the VA appeals.
2006 — Australia grants Agent Orange disability and health benefits to its Vietnam sailors.
2008 — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rules the VA can change the rule for Blue Water veterans, thereby denying Haas’ benefits claim.
January 2009 — The Supreme Court refuses to hear the Haas case.
April and November 2009 — The Board of Veterans’ Appeals again rules that Da Nang Harbor is an inland waterway, and Blue Water veterans who served there should receive benefits.
2010 — The VA continues to claim Da Nang is not an inland waterway.
March 2011 — Japan earthquake and tsunami. The Navy concludes the USS Ronald Reagan, a ship nearly 100 miles off the coast of Japan, was exposed to “a month’s worth of radiation in just one hour.”
May 2011 — The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science study says it is plausible that Blue Water veterans were exposed to Agent Orange.
Summer 2011 — Retired Adm. Edward Straw testifies before Congress, arguing that the USS Reagan incident is similar to what happened with Agent Orange and Navy ships off the Vietnam coast.
September 2011 — Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduce the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick Facts: US chemical, biological weapons
U.S. Chemical Weapons

In response to German chemical attacks during World War I, The United States established the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) in 1918. During the war, the CWS manufactured, stockpiled, and used chemical weapons, primarily mustard and phosgene gases.

The U.S. rapidly expanded its Chemical weapons (CW) development and production during World War II, with production of new chemicals including cyanogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide, and lewisite.

In 1969, Public Law 19-121 restricted testing, transport, storage and disposal of CW. Also in 1969, President Nixon signed an executive order halting further production of unitary chemical weapons. However, the Reagan administration reexamined the CW issue in the 1980s and began production of binary sarin artillery shells in 1987. nti

In 1987, the Pentagon admitted that it was operating 127 chemical and biological warfare research sites in the US.

During the Vietnam War the US military used about 21 million gallons of Agent Orange to defoliate trees in order to deny enemy fighters cover. Millions of Vietnamese were exposed, as were about 20,000 US soldiers. According to Vietnamese estimates, Agent Orange is responsible for the deaths of 400,000 people. Historycommons

In the 1960’s, the U.S. Defense Department sprayed live nerve and biological agents on ships and sailors in cold war-era experiments to test the Navy’s vulnerability to toxic warfare.


Agent Orange buried at beach strip?

Black mark: A U.S. military veteran who claims to have witnessed the burial of dozens of drums of Agent Orange in 1969 points to the site on a map. Today the area is a busy shopping district in the heart of touristy Chatan, Okinawa Prefecture. JOE SIPALA
U.S. veteran fears toxin now beneath popular civilian area
Special to The Japan Times

Dozens of barrels of the toxic defoliant Agent Orange were buried in the late 1960s beneath what is now a busy neighborhood in the central Okinawa Island town of Chatan, near Araha Beach, according to a former U.S. soldier who has recently pinpointed the location thanks to a 1970 map of a U.S. base obtained by The Japan Times.

The alleged burial took place in 1969 when the area was part of the U.S. Hamby Air Field, but since its return to civilian use in 1981 the area has been redeveloped into a sightseeing area. Nearby today are restaurants, hotels and apartment buildings on a street running parallel to popular Araha Beach.


Friday, November 25, 2011

An Open Letter to British Athletes and the 2012 Olympics
Len Aldis for
(LONDON) - Next year in East London the two Olympics will be held when sportsmen and women from many countries will compete against each other in many fields of sport. This will be an opportunity to meet your competitors and to establish friendships.

Unfortunately, the Stadium, in which the opening and closing ceremonies will take place and field events held, will be stained in blood.

This is due to Dow Chemical being given a contract by the London Olympic Committee to surround the stadium with 336 huge panels’ for advertisements. Stained by the blood of innocent people, Dow Chemical was and remains responsible for the manufacture of Agent Orange and Napalm, used extensively on Southern Vietnam from 1961 until 1971, resulting in the deaths of many thousands of Vietnamese and causing many thousands more to suffer from various illnesses and deformities.

Eighty million litres of Agent Orange/Dioxin was sprayed by US forces that destroyed thousands of acres of Forests and the animal life within, poisoned the lakes and streams and in turn the fishes.

In my yearly visit to Vietnam from 1989, I have seen the jars at the Tu Du Hospital that contain the foetus of abnormal births. Have also met with children born with missing limbs, eyes etc, with twisted bodies due to Spina Bifida, and Dow refuses to accept responsibility or make any compensation to these tragic victims.

Dow's legacy in Vietnam -

This is the same company that bought United Carbide responsible for the horrific toxic gas leak causing the deaths of over 15,000 people of Bhopal in India. Today in Bhopal there are 100,000 still suffering from the effects of that explosion, and as with the Vietnamese of which there are four million still suffering, Dow refuses to accept responsibility or make any compensation.

Friends, it is into that Stadium that you will march and compete during the period of the two Olympic Games, in a stadium surrounded by a curtain of shame made by Dow Chemical. Ask the athletes from the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Vietnam about Agent Orange whose relatives may have served in the Vietnam War, and became affected by Agent Orange?

You might also consider this, in a letter to Lord Coe asking for the contract to be cancelled there were signatures of twenty-three MPs and twenty-one Indian athletes who took part in previous Olympics. There are reports that some Indian athletes, if not all, will boycott the Olympics if the Dow contract goes ahead.

Yours sincerely
Len Aldis. Secretary
Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society

Agent Orange: With more diseases tied to use during Vietnam War, bill for veterans' care skyrockets
By: Lindsey Bever, Dallas Morning News / MCT
More than 40 years after the U.S. military used Agent Orange to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, the health-care bill is escalating.

Over the past two years, federal officials say, an estimated 10,000 more veterans have sought medical compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange, an herbicide that contains a toxic chemical called dioxin.

The Institute of Medicine said in a recent report that there is sufficient evidence of an association between exposure to Agent Orange and illnesses including soft-tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma and chloracne.

The report recommended further research to determine whether there could be a link between Agent Orange exposure and other illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, tonsil cancer, melanoma and Alzheimer’s disease.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Agent Orange Aftermath - Vietnam Veterans Speak Out - Vietnam: The Secret Agent
Mokie Porter of Vietnam Veterans of America and US veteran families discuss the ongoing effects of Agent Orange on their children, and the impact on their progeny - excerpted from the DVD re-release of the award winning documentary film, Vietnam: The Secret Agent.


Friday, November 18, 2011

How Agent Orange Led to Ischemic Heart Disease In Veterans
agent orange ischemic heart diseaseAgent Orange was a chemical defoliant that was used during the Vietnam War, with the goal of defoliating forested area so the guerrillas would have less cover and a reduced food supply.

Later, it was discovered that the Agent Orange used was contaminated with a dioxin compound called TCDD.

The US sprayed nearly 20 million gallons of this and other similar chemicals, destroying over five million acres of land between 1962 and 1971.

Not only were forests and food crops destroyed, but hundreds of thousands of people were killed or injured as a direct result of these chemicals, including as many as a half million babies born with severe birth defects.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Veterans on C-123 planes post-Vietnam
Some Veterans who were crew members on C-123 aircraft, formerly used to spray herbicides in Vietnam, have expressed health concerns about possible exposure to Agent Orange residue on plane surfaces. After reviewing available scientific reports, VA has concluded the potential for long-term adverse health effects from Agent Orange residue in these planes was minimal. Even if crew exposure did occur, it is unlikely that sufficient amounts of dried Agent Orange residue could have entered the body to have caused harm.

Visit the Agent Orange homepage to learn more about Agent Orange:

Vietnam: The Secret Agent

This Week Only! Go to and click on Veterans Day Movie Pass (This Week Only!) on bottom left of web page to watch the film FOR FREE in a video stream online. This Week Only!

Monsanto Agent Orange Past Continues to Haunt the Company
Many people these days recognize Monsanto as the massive corporation that maintains 95 percent control over the soybean market and nearly 80 percent control over the genetically engineered seed market.

Monsanto is famous for using every tactic in the book to crush all competition when it comes to agriculture and the farming industry.

We’ve covered Monsanto often in the past, specifically regarding the threat that the Monsanto monopoly poses to the U.S. and world food supply.

We recently covered the public survey conducted by the DoJ, where thousands of concerned citizens voiced their opposition against the Monsanto monopoly.

The threat isn’t so much from the amount of control that the massive corporation maintains over the seed industry, but from the ethical history of the company itself.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vietnam: The Secret Agent

This Week Only! Go to and click on Veterans Day Movie Pass (This Week Only!) on bottom left of web page to watch the film FOR FREE in a video stream online. This Week Only!

A Look inside the Department of Veteran’s Affairs on Veterans Day
Families across the United States are quick to forget just how many Veterans from wars that took place so long ago are still around to celebrate this special day with their friends and families.
Veteran’s day is a day to remember all of those soldiers who have served for the freedom of our country. While thousands of soldiers are being sent home and urged to file claims through the Department of Veterans Affairs through their new expedited claims process, the Department of Veterans Affairs is quick to forget just how many old claims they have yet to process.

Read more:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Opinion

from the Peoria (IL) Journal Star
John George

As I read the Nov. 11 Forum letter, "He honored the flag, now the flag will honor him," it reminded me of the many soldiers who fought in Vietnam from 1967 to 1971. During that period, a herbicide known as Agent Orange was heavily used around U.S. military outposts to defoliate the surrounding area. A chemical known as TCDD was found in Agent Orange and has caused a wide variety of diseases, many of them fatal.

On a daily basis, tens of thousands of soldiers were exposed to this herbicide. Many have since died or are now suffering from cancer, migraine headaches, blackouts, irregular heart rate, brain tumors and other ailments.

John T. George is retired from Caterpillar as a Global Information Services systems supervisor. He lives in Peoria.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Vietnam: The Secret Agent

Go to and click on Veterans Day Movie Pass on bottom left of web page to watch the film FOR FREE in a video stream online. This Week Only!

Agent Orange is recognized as the most toxic man-made chemical. We dumped it on Vietnam and we dumped it on the dusty backroads of Southern Missouri .

Vietnam: The Secret Agent is the first comprehensive look at the history, the effects and the implications of the deadly contaminant 2, 4,5-T — a main ingredient of the defoliant code-named Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Using rare archival and striking war footage in support of interviews with veterans, scientists, attorneys and representatives of the U.S. Air Force, the VA and Dow Chemical — this film documents the history of chemical warfare and the plight of our Vietnam vets.

Every issue raised in the film continues to resonate in today's political climate. As soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan , plagued by illness, disability and post-traumatic stress, as Americans — particularly students — question political decisions, it's critical to learn from past conflicts. This award winning 1984 documentary classic, re-released on DVD, is loaded with new bonus interviews: class action update, eye witness accounts from Vietnam , dioxin problem solving, U.S. veterans today, and more.

Using striking archive and war footage in support of interviews with veterans, scientists, attorneys, the U.S. Air Force, the Veterans Administration, Dow Chemical and more; this film documents the extraordinary history of chemical warfare, agricultural herbicides, damage to the world environment, and the plight of Vietnam veterans and their families as they struggle for treatment of exposure to Agent Orange and dioxin.

As soldiers return from new wars plagued by illness, disability and post-traumatic stress, as citizens question leaders’ decisions, as fresh environmental catastrophes evoke debate about accountability; it is critical to illuminate struggles and lessons from the past. Every issue raised in this film resonates in today’s political climate.

DVD extras include a PowerPoint/PDF timeline of Agent Orange facts to date, witnesses to the effects in Vietnam, and more.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seminar on AO/dioxin opens in US
Nearly 150 delegates gathered at a two-day seminar on Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin at Berkeley University in San Francisco city, California state of the US.

The event also drew the participation of US veteran families of Vietnamese origin and US AO victims.

Speaking at the seminar, Head of the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on AO/dioxin Ngo Quang Xuan said the seminar discussed efforts and contributions of sides to overcome the consequences of AO/dioxin in Vietnam.

The seminar highly valued the project to detoxify dioxin-affected Da Nang International Airport, Xuan said, expressing his hope that Vietnam will receive more support to treat Bien Hoa airport, the country’s second “hot spot” of dioxin, in the southern province of Dong Nai.

He added that the seminar helped raise awareness of the public and organisations in the US about AO consequences suffered by Vietnam.

The Rotary Foundation and the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on AO/dioxin are currently carrying out a project to improve access to safe water sources in Dong Son commune, A Luoi district, in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, which was severely affected by AO/dioxin contamination.

VVA Chapter 862, Beaver County , PA , Hosts 14th Agent Orange Town Hall & VVA has a new Agent Orange PSA

On November 5, VVA Chapter 862 hosted VVA’s 14th Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting at the Penn State Beaver campus, near Pittsburgh . Kudos to the members of VVA/AVVA Chapter 862, to organizers Bobby and Phil Morris, and to all who worked so hard to make this event a success!

VVA National VP Fred Elliott; PASC President Larry Holman; AVVA President Nancy Switzer ; and PA AVVA President Nancy Rekowski were joined by over one hundred veterans and family members--many of them new to VVA. They came from Pennsylvania , from West Virginia , and from Ohio to listen to the panelists and to share their own Agent Orange stories. PASC Treasurer David Johnston traveled the distance from Harrisburg to be there. Panelists included Bobbie Morris; AVVA National President Nancy Switzer ; Peter and Sue Petrosky; Heather Bowser; George Claxton, and VVA BOD Member Sandie Wilson. Larry Googins, 2nd VP of PASC and VVA 862 Treasurer, was the master of ceremonies; Chapter 862 VP Pete Petrosky led the presentation of the colors; and F. Lee Corfield, PASC Secretary and VVA 862 Secretary (also in the Color Guard) led the singing of the National Anthem.

Jacki Ochs, filmmaker/director of the soon-to-be rereleased, award-winning documentary, Vietnam: The Secret Agent, has recently posted to YouTube the below short, which she filmed at the town hall held at the VVA Region 2 Meeting in Atlantic City—VVA 862’s Petroskys, as well as the Morrises, are featured in this piece—and the PSA directs viewers to the VVA Agent Orange Committee page at

The children of Veterans are the innocent victims of Agent Orange

from Paul Sutton
Ed Mattson
Military Affairs Examiner November 11, 2011

The debate goes on and probably will until the end of time as to the effects of DIOXIN on dozens of health related issues. The Veteran on this Veteran’s Day does not have to be reminded of the long battle with the Veteran’s Administration, the Department of Defense, and 13 chemical manufacturing companies on the massive exposure to dioxin from the use of Agent Orange and other defoliants during the Vietnam War.

The same hold true for the public population , both in the United States and many other countries, where dioxin laced products were used in a effort to “improve our lives”, by limiting growth of weeds, vegetation, and disease carrying insects, only to learn that increase health issues would become a nightmare for many of those exposed. We now understand that we cannot rewind the clock and easily solve the problems caused by dioxin, but must learn how to deal with it in a fair and equitable manner to all who have health related issues, and find ways to prevent further exposure.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
It was a cold and windy morning, but that didn't stop approximately 30 people from gathering outside MP Keith Ashfield's office Saturday for a rally to mark the second annual Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest.


A mix of veterans and family members of all ages bundled up in coats and mittens to take part in the event, one of many organized across Canada by the Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

Fred Doucette, a member of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy, said the point of the rallies is to give veterans and supporters a chance to air their concerns about the New Veterans Charter, changes to widows' benefits and pensions and Agent Orange compensation.


Study says pesticides in food chain causes ADHD in children
Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 11/06/2011 02:39:41 AM PST

Pesticides threaten our health, yet we still use them in America today. In the Vietnam War, herbicides (a subclass of pesticides) and their deadly effects created a dark legacy that still lingers.

Many Americans have heard about Agent Orange and are aware that the Veterans Administration has recognized numerous ill effects it had on people who were exposed to it. Not so well known is that nine of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides, according to the 2001 Stockholm Convention findings ( on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

The result of the convention was an international environmental treaty, which went into effect in May 2004. The aim was to eliminate or restrict the production and use of POPs, defined as “chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment.”

In the early 1960s, we sprayed Agent Orange in Vietnam as a defoliant. It contained dioxin, but the chemical companies assured everyone that dioxin occurred naturally in the environment and was not harmful to humans. They knew better.

In March 1965, Dow official V.K. Rowe convened a meeting of executives of Monsanto, Hooker Chemical, which operated the
Love Canal dump, Diamond Alkali, the forerunner of Diamond-Shamrock, and the Hercules Powder Co., which later became Hercules Inc.

According to documents uncovered years later, the purpose of this meeting was “to discuss the toxicological problems caused by the presence of certain highly toxic impurities” in samples of 2,4,5-T. The primary “highly toxic impurity” was 2,3,7,8 TCDD, one of 75 dioxin compounds.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Vietnam: The Secret Agent delivers the authoritative account of the history and troubling legacy of Agent Orange. — David Zierler, Ph.D., Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State

Human Arts Association is pleased to announce the re-release on DVD of the classic film Vietnam: The Secret Agent.

In honor of Veterans Day, in collaboration with New Day Digital, we invite VVA members to watch the newly restored, and re-digitized film over the internet — free for one week starting at 12:01 a.m. PST, 11/11/11.

This award-winning film documents the Vietnam Veterans' struggle in the early 80's to attain just treatment and compensation for illnesses caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

"... excellent ... a tough, angry look at the consequences of exposure to Agent Orange... a chilling issue that is effectively addressed here." — The New York Times

The new DVD is loaded with bonus features — updated interviews of veterans, families of veterans, eye witness photographers, and artists' responses to the legacy of Agent Orange. For more information, visit:

We hope you will take us up on our offer to watch this film for free on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Book Marks 50th Anniversary Of Agent Orange In Vietnam

Read more:

Veterans back bill to create registry of illnesses blamed on burn pits
WASHINGTON — Veterans exposed to burn pits during their war deployments are backing legislation to create an ongoing registry of patients and illnesses believed connected to the toxic smoke, suggesting it may be the last chance to discover what long-term health problems they’ll face.

On Thursday, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., will introduce companion bills requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a burn pit registry, similar to past efforts tracking illnesses related to Agent Orange and Gulf War Illness.

The measures will not mandate new benefits or treatment for those veterans, but will establish a database of common symptoms for physicians to use in future research.

On Monday, the Institute of Medicine released a new report saying that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ respiratory problems may have more to do with poor air quality in those countries than the burn pits used by U.S. forces to dispose of trash, human waste and excess equipment.


Vietnam Veterans of America Joins Over 200 Organizations in Urging Congress to Reject Changes to Medicare Part D Program
(Washington, D.C.)--Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) joined with several hundred organizations representing veterans, seniors, and low-income beneficiaries to express the urgent need for Congress to reject the proposal to make harmful changes to the government's prescription drug program, Medicare Part D.

In a joint letter to Congress, the organizations cite that Medicare Part D is actually performing above expectation, and since its implementation, has cost taxpayers 41 percent less than originally projected. In addition, premiums for beneficiaries are 46 percent less than projected and are expected to decline slightly in 2012, with the average monthly premium remaining around $30. This change would have a negative impact on veterans using both the Tricare for Life program as well as Medicare Part D.

"Clearly, savings need to be achieved within our healthcare system in order to sustain these vital programs for future generations of Americans, but it is our duty to ensure these changes do not harm the very people they are meant to protect," said John Rowan, VVA National President. "Instead of targeting a program that is actually saving money while providing affordable prescription drug options to seniors, the attention of Congress could be better spent identifying those programs wasting taxpayer's money."

If the rebate proposal is implemented, the groups cite that, by some estimates, the premium increase for seniors could rise by 20 to 40 percent. In an attempt to limit premium increases, the groups make the point that prescription drug plans may opt to adjust their formularies, giving seniors and disabled Americans fewer preferred options, resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs--costs which many cannot afford and will cause some to forgo treatment.

"Higher costs will cause a breakdown in treatment plan adherence, as seniors opt out of Part D coverage or fail to purchase the drugs they need to maintain their health. This could lead to higher costs in Medicare for hospitalizations and nursing home care. The availability of drug coverage is achieving savings of up to $13 billion a year by keeping more seniors healthier and out of institutional settings, according to recent estimates by Harvard researchers. The rebate plan jeopardizes these savings and the lives they represent," the groups noted.

Said Rowan, "America's veterans and seniors have served their country and have contributed their entire working lives to building the wealth of this great nation. Instead of forcing beneficiaries to once again reach into their own pockets, now is the time to preserve the quality of care that supports the health of our veterans, our seniors, and those with disabilities, while providing a sustainable blueprint for the long-term health of our nation. Frankly, our veterans have sacrificed enough." For a full copy of the letter and list of supporting organizations, click here:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Agent Orange Study Links for October 28, 2011, Courtesy George Claxton

Agent Orange Links October 28, 2011

Propolis protects against 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-induced toxicity in rat hepatocytes.

Attenuating effect of lycopene and ellagic acid on 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-induced spermiotoxicity and testicular apoptosis.

Tenuous dose-response correlations for common disease states: case study of cholesterol and perfluorooctanoate/sulfonate (PFOA/PFOS) in the C8 Health Project.

Pathological study for the effects of in utero and postnatal exposure to diesel exhaust on a rat endometriosis model.

Do Thyroid Disrupting Chemicals Influence Foetal Development during Pregnancy?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mark the Date - November 5, 2011

Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting
VVA/AVVA Chapter 862, Beaver County to hold Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting

November 5, 2011
3:00 PM
Monaca, PA 15061

National Speakers:

Mokie Pratt Porter
VVA Director of Communications, former editor of The VVA Veteran, and Long-time VVA staff member, Mokie is the coordinator of the Faces of Agent Orange Initiative

George Claxton
Chair Emeritus of the VVA Agent Orange Committee and long-time advocate for veterans, George ’s knowledge of Agent Orange is unparalleled. His life-time work, a massive database of studies on the health impact of Agent Orange, is an exceptional resource which is used by scientists and service officers alike.

Sandie Wilson
A long-standing member of VVA’s National Board of Directors, Sandie served as an OR Nurse in Vietnam . Her pioneering work on Agent Orange began with her return home in 1971, when she served on the pediatric ward at Fort Campbell ’s base hospital. A steadfast advocate, she has never faltered from her quest for truth and justice for her fellow veterans.

Nancy Switzer
AVVA’s current and founding National President, Nancy has been an outstanding advocate for veterans and their families for more than 30 years. Married to Rick, who is service-connected for Agent Orange, she understands well the legacy of war. A long-time advisor to VVA’s legislative and health committees, Nancy has played a critical role in the Faces of Agent Orange, convening the first-ever FAO Town Hall Meeting at the AVVA leadership conference in 2009.

Pete and Sue Petrosky - A Vietnam veteran, Pete served in the USAF from 64-68.
Married for 42 years, Sue and Pete have two daughters, both born with birth defects. The Petroskys are sharing their compelling story, with hopes that they can make a difference.

Philip and Bobbie Morris
Philip served in Thailand with the USAF, 65-69. When he returned home, he married Bobbie, and their daughter, Dara Rae, was born in 1973. By sharing Dara’s amazing journey, they hope to let others know that they are not alone.

Open Forum

We hope to hear from you, our Vietnam Veteran families, to learn more about the health of our veterans, their children, and their grandchildren.

For more information on the Town Hall Meeting, Contact:

EPA, MDEQ won't use U-M dioxin study in decision making

By Lindsay Knake | The Saginaw News
KOCHVILLE TWP. — The Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality won’t use a University of Michigan study on dioxins to make future decisions on cleanup of the chemical.

Dr. David Garabrant, the leader of the U-M Dioxin Exposure Study, presented the results of the study at Monday’s Tittabawassee-Saginaw Rivers Contamination Community Advisory Group meeting.

About 25 people, mostly Delta College students, attended the meeting at Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay in Kochville Township.

The eight-year study which tested levels of dioxins in soil, household dust and blood samples from residents in the Tittabawassee River floodplain from the Dow Chemical Co. plant in Midland through Midland and Saginaw counties. It found dioxins in property soil and household dust do not have a significant effect on residents’ dioxin blood levels.


Agent Orange Studies Overlook Vietnamese Americans

Commentary by Ngoc Nguyen, New American Media
The numerous studies on American veterans of the war stand in stark contrast to what little is known about the health effects of dioxin in Vietnamese living in the United States.
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - A few years ago, my father, a former naval officer in the South Vietnamese Army, developed liver cancer. The diagnosis followed decades of struggle with Hepatitis C, a viral infection he contracted through a blood transfusion during the war. A liver transplant saved his life.

More than two years since the operation, and my father’s life has been transformed from a state of “wait and see” to near normalcy, except for a daily regimen of dozens of pills. But, for Vietnamese Americans there is another legacy of the war that, like a sleeping dragon, may be starting to awaken: The possible health effects of exposure to wartime Agent Orange.

American forces sprayed 19 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides during the Vietnam War between 1961 and 1971, mostly in South Vietnam, to deny North Vietnamese soldiers cover in the country’s dense forests and jungles. Agent Orange was contaminated with dioxin, a highly toxic chemical that is persistent in human tissues and the environment.

That wartime spraying has been devastating to American veterans who came into contact with the defoliant and then developed any number of a long list of illnesses related to Agent Orange exposure. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences have linked Agent Orange/dioxin exposure to a slew of health conditions, including prostate, lung and other cancers, Parkinson’s disease and leukemia, and birth defects in the children of veterans, such as spina bifida. Many of the symptoms are only just showing up now in soldiers who served and were exposed.

But the numerous studies on American veterans of the war stand in stark contrast to what little is known about the health effects of dioxin in Vietnamese living in the United States – whether they were born here or are former residents of South Vietnam.

According to a study published in the journal Nature by Columbia University professor emeritus Jeanne Stellman, as many as 4.8 million Vietnamese civilians were exposed to the chemicals during the war. The collapse of the government of South Vietnam brought an exodus of Vietnamese to the United States, with more than 125,000 refugees resettling here after 1975. The country’s Vietnamese population now stands at more than 1.6 million, according to the last census count.

Among that group are former South Vietnamese veterans, who do not receive VA benefits, so their health status is not being tracked. The federal government has yet to conduct large-scale epidemiological studies of U.S. Vietnam veterans, and has not funded studies on their South Vietnamese counterparts.

Additionally, ARVN forces were not part of a 1985 out-of-court settlement with the chemical makers totaling $180 million. Much of that money dried up before thousands of American veterans started to become sick from Agent Orange-related illnesses. Now, as the legal and medical battles move to the children and grandchildren of Vietnam vets who are also suffering the long-term effects of the chemical war agent, Vietnamese Americans continue to be overlooked.

Sailing up and down rivers in Binh Duong province in southern Vietnam during the war, my father says he didn’t handle Agent Orange. But he does recalled seeing charred vegetation along the riverbanks, and said he knew it had been sprayed there. He says he doesn’t believe he was exposed, as he was mainly on the vessel and drank from the boat’s water supply.

But studies show the defoliant was sprayed on about 10 to 15 percent of South Vietnam in certain locations, with little spraying in urban areas. From Saigon, my father says areas outside of the city were sprayed. One in particular, Bien Hoa, just 32 kilometers north of Saigon, is a dioxin “hotspot.”

Bien Hoa is home to a former U.S. air base used for Agent Orange-spraying missions. A large spill of the herbicide occurred underground there, and the area is still contaminated. A study from 2003 found that residents were still exposed to dioxin through animal fat, from eating fish, chickens and ducks and other tainted wildlife.

Bien Hoa residents also had higher dioxin levels than their counterparts in the North, where there was no spraying, and one resident of the city was found to have the highest level of dioxin ever recorded in the country. But while their children also showed elevated dioxin levels, these studies did not address long-term health effects.

Arnold Schecter, a professor of environmental sciences at the Univ. of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas and a leading researcher on dioxin exposure in the Vietnamese American community, said no one has conducted measures of dioxin exposure levels in the population.

Political Sensitivities

Vietnamese immigrants in the United States are largely from South Vietnam, which fell to the communists in 1975. As such, many here do not want to do or say anything that gives credence to Hanoi’s claims about the health effects of Agent Orange, part of a massive campaign to win compensation for victims of the defoliant. [A lawsuit brought by Vietnam against the chemical makers in federal court in New York was dismissed in 2005, and subsequent appeals have failed.]

Yet the lack of health studies for this group comes at a time when the symptoms of wartime exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin could be surfacing.

According to a Chicago Tribune investigation, “Service-related disability payments to Vietnam veterans have surged 60 percent since 2003, reaching $13.7 billion last year, and now account for more than half of such payments the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides to veterans of all wars.” The spike in disability claims suggests that the “long dormant effects of Agent Orange [are beginning] to surface,” according to the article.

For Vietnamese immigrants in the United States, who may have had a history of toxic exposure, it is critical to have this basic and baseline public health data, especially as many go on to work in jobs here, such as nail salons and dry cleaning shops, where they are exposed to additional harmful chemicals.

Growing up, my siblings and I never knew what my father saw or did on the battlefield, what he felt when he loaded his mother, brothers and sisters, his wife and his nine-month-old daughter, and others onto a ship that he then commandeered to Subic Bay, Philippines on April 30, 1975 – the day Saigon fell. We are just starting to have those conversations.

Now, with both my parents aging, the legacy of the war is both a distant memory and a palpable reality, sometimes extending its fingers into our lives.

Ngoc Nguyen is environmental health editor and reporter for New America Media, a national nonprofit news service for ethnic media. She is reporting on the health impacts of Agent Orange/dioxin on the Vietnamese American community through a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Contact her at

Special thanks to New American Media

Originally published here:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Texas A&M System researchers sought for Agent Orange remediation

By: Kay Ledbetter
Print Friendly

COLLEGE STATION – It’s been almost 50 years since Agent Orange was spread as a jungle defoliant across parts of Vietnam in a conflict that has since healed, but the same may not be true for the land, according to Texas A&M University and Texas AgriLife Research officials who are being sought out for some answers.

Faculty from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, especially Dr. Scott Senseman, a professor in the department of soil and crop sciences and an AgriLife Research weed scientist specializing in pesticide fate and management, have been asked to participate in a project with Vietnam National University–Hanoi.

The partnership has been identified as a key strategic project by the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam. Senseman was recently invited to address the Joint Advisory Commission, the key inter-governmental commission for cooperation between the two governments, about the collaboration.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Waiting For An Army To Die - Redux
"Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam"
by Fred A. Wilcox
Seven Stories Press (2011)

"Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange"
by Fred A. Wilcox
Seven Stories Press, Second Edition (2011)

Fifty years ago, while President Kennedy deliberated waging a sweeping herbicide warfare campaign in Vietnam, Rachel Carson may well have been scrutinizing the galley proofs of "Silent Spring," a book Kennedy would soon read and respect. The biologist painstakingly amassed evidence that widespread aerial spraying with toxic insecticides and herbicides constituted a "peacetime" war on nature and human health.

Her electrifying treatise nailed the agricultural industrial complex - pesticide industries and the gaggle of research scientists, government bureaucrats and Congressionals tethered to the industry - for collusion in a chemical assault on nature and public health.

A firestorm ensued. The industry threatened to sue Carson's publisher; their hacks peddled sexist depictions of Carson and satires of "Silent Spring." A tempest of Congressional hearings and citizen lawsuits over DDT pesticide excoriated the pesticide industry and government complicity, provoked immense national debate and launched the modern environmental movement. As Fred Wilcox bitingly observes, though, in "Waiting for an Army to Die," this domestic outbreak of public debate, regulatory action and civic activism against our pesticide-drenched model of agriculture did not stymie the executive decision to wage and sustain massive chemical warfare in Vietnam for nearly ten years.

The most hazardous of the chemicals sprayed in Vietnam was Agent Orange, an equal mixture of the herbicides 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D, contaminated during the manufacturing process with the dioxin TCDD, arguably the most toxic small molecule known. First researched for use as warfare agents in World War II, the herbicides were given a post-war makeover for domestic use on brush and weeds in forests, agriculture, pasturelands and suburban yards. In 1961, they became the dominant weapon of choice to defoliate rainforest, mangroves and food crops over one-seventh of the land area of South Vietnam and parts of Laos and Cambodia. Wartime herbicide production spurred an accelerated manufacturing process, a haste which increased industry profits - while it also knowingly magnified the dioxin content and herbicide toxicity in Agent Orange manyfold.

In "Waiting for an Army to Die," the author forcefully illustrates that wartime and peacetime uses of herbicides are two sides of the same coin. He recounts the stories of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange and also of Oregon mothers, Arizona potters, and others living near sprayed public lands, all of whom were suffering from a plague of cancers, nervous system effects, miscarriages and birth disorders of their children. In this eminently compassionate and politically astute book, reissued with a new introduction 22 years after the first edition, Wilcox takes us inside the tragic, yet gutsy lives of young, working-class vets who were left to die by "government stonewalling, bureaucratic shell games and the contempt of multinational corporations." Their resolve to win just, respectful medical treatment and disability payment from the Veterans Administration (VA) in the face of stigmatization as neurotic, substance-abusing, mental cases is nothing short of heroic.

"Waiting for an Army to Die" is an unblinking high beam focused on the VA's heartless, obstacle-laden treatment of Vietnam veterans. But Wilcox also highlights a few noble people within an otherwise obstructive medical system, whose stories of courage and altruism relieve the callous betrayal of these veterans poisoned by their country. ("Sprayed and Betrayed" as the vets put it). One is a lower-level employee, Maude DeVictor, in the Benefits Division of the Chicago VA regional. On her own initiative, she collected personal data from clients seeking benefits - Vietnam vets, their wives and their widows - about their exposure to Agent Orange, health effects and reproductive history. When directed by her supervisor to cease her data collection, she turned the results over to the local media. DeVictor's pluck in the face of a punitive bureaucracy is one of numerous chinks in the VA's armored resistance to acknowledging the toxicity of Agent Orange and to undertaking independent scientific studies of Agent Orange exposure illnesses.

The other human face of this ruinous chemical warfare on a rural country's ecosystem and people is that of more than three million Vietnamese war victims of Agent Orange and the three generations of children born since with horrific birth defects and disabilities. Wilcox tells their tragic yet dogged story in a newly published companion book, "Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam." Again, with compassion and an unflinching investigation into the multigenerational Agent Orange victims, he constructs a cogent moral case for compensation by the United States. Read separately, but more so together, the books' core contribution is that they do not let us leave the toxic legacy of the Vietnam War behind us as we wage new wars with new chemicals.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A death from cancer, and a search for answers - Frederick native calls attention to Fort Detrick contamination
FREDERICK — — Randy White had just buried a daughter, dead at 30 with a brain tumor. Now his other daughter had been diagnosed with growths in her abdomen.

When doctors told White in 2009 that their conditions were likely caused by something in their environment, the Frederick native thought of Fort Detrick. His children had grown up near the Army base.

Detrick was home to the nation's biological weapons program from the 1940s through the 1960s. It remains a key center for medical research.

"Anybody that lives in Frederick knows all the rumors," White says. "It's kind of like, 'Fort Detrick, they created anthrax, we knew that, smallpox …' It just clicked for me."

For decades, Frederick residents had speculated about the possible effects of the experiments at the base on the health of the surrounding community. But it took a grieving father with scientists, lawyers and money — White says he has spent more than $1 million so far — to drag questions about contamination and cancer out into the open.

White hired epidemiologists and toxicologists to monitor the air, soil and water around Detrick. He asked neighbors about their health histories and paid for lab tests to measure the toxins in their blood. He shared his findings with government officials.

The county and state health departments are now studying the cancer rate within a two-mile radius of the base. The Army has released details of Agent Orange testing. And local, state and federal officials are meeting regularly with the community to discuss their progress.


Fourteen Vietnam Vets Needed for Agent Orange Claims Research Project

Graduate student at Johns Hopkins University seeks Vietnam vets for a comparative study of the VA’s “Fast Track Agent Orange Claims Processing System”. The study involves interviews with two groups of seven Vietnam vets each who have filed a VA claim of service connection for any of the three following conditions: ischemic heart disease, hairy cell and other B-Cell leukemias and Parkinson’s disease – one group of seven who’ve filed using the on-line fast track system and one group of seven who has not used the fast track system. For more information, contact Kelly Campbell at or 301/575-7318 by October 25th.

NOTE: this study’s I.R.B. documentation has been filed and reviewed by VVA’s I.R.B. research officer and judged to be in compliance with all applicable human subjects research guidelines.

Keeping the lid on the Congressional pressure cooker
Many veterans have simply given up in the battle over Agent Orange. With so many no longer alive there are fewer voices to tell the stories. As I have been writing, this IS NOT an issue confined to Vietnam as we all know. Agent Orange was used in many countries and local communities, forests, and along the nation’s highways back here at home.

With Agent Orange legislation the focus of committee hearings in both the Senate and House, this is not the time to cut and run. This is the time to keep the lid on the pressure cooker and not let up. As I said in Friday’s column, the government and the chemical companies devised a game plan early-on to divide the enemy (the US veterans, civilian populations, the government contractors, and the USO volunteers), keep each isolated as much as possible, and wait out the inevitable time period when our numbers die off.

We will never know to what degree collusion between government agencies and the chemical companies has occurred because the way the system works, there has been no simple way to drag them all into court, present all the evidence, and let the jury decide. No, the cards are stacked against those with claims, with “tribunal-type systems”, which restrict access to justice. Decisions are being made by bureaucrats based on applications that have to be made without full access to all the facts. Since the government controls the records/files, and can hide behind the cloak of secrecy, it becomes a steep uphill climb for an individual to justify his/her claim in many instances. By keeping each group separated…“boats on the ground”, blue water navy, civilian contractors, and USO volunteers, each must navigate whatever legal channels can be opened, which is beyond the financial reach of most.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vet claims exposure to Agent Orange on Guam
by Nick Delgado

Guam - Veterans and their families who were on Guam during the Vietnam War and were exposed to Agent Orange have launched a petition drive, calling on the Obama Administration to launch a full investigation into the matter. One such veteran hopes the White House will listen and learn from his story.

"I'm Master Sergeant Leroy Foster," the man said, introducing himself. "I'm retired from the U.S. Air Force. I came over to Guam during the Vietnam War 412 with the 99th Air Force Base and I was assigned to at that time it was the 3960th Combat Support Group. I think it was the 819th Support Squadron converted to the 43rd Supply Squadron."

According to Foster, he arrived to Guam in September 1968. "I was assigned to the Fuel Division and I worked on fuel tank farms refueling aircrafts, B-52s. They had me spraying Agent Orange herbicides."

Foster is one of many veterans who say they were exposed to Agent Orange on Guam during the Vietnam War and have signed a petition calling on President Barack Obama to launch an investigation. Foster says it wasn't too long after working in the fuel tank farms on Guam his health began to deteriorate and just got worse through his military career and into retirement. "Sometime in 1978, not realizing that it was all connected to Agent Orange, I ended up having some severe health problems right up ‘til I retired from active duty. But they discovered I had spongeolosis. I was denied employment after I retired from active duty because I'm paralyzed from my waist down."

He added, "[I] had strokes and heart attacks not knowing what happened to me, and then in July 2009, the Agent Orange Commission released Agent Orange Update and I realized then what was happening to me and it was from those herbicides that I sprayed over there in Guam from and on Andersen AFB and off-base."

A total of 5,000 signatures are needed in order to get the White House's attention. Currently there are only 126 people who have signed the petition.

If you would like to read the petition you can read it on The deadline to get the required number of signatures is October 22. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo supports the initiative, telling KUAM News that individuals who may have been exposed to these chemicals deserve to have this matter investigated fully.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monsanto is secretly poisoning the population with Roundup
(NaturalNews) Dr. Andreas Carrasco remained in the locked car and watched with fear as the crowd beat the vehicle and shouted at him -- for two hours. His friends who didn't make it into the vehicle were not so lucky. One ended up paralyzed. Another unconscious. The angry crowd of about 100 were likely organized by a local rice grower who was furious at Carrasco for what he was trying to do that day. Carrasco's crime? Telling people that Roundup herbicide from Monsanto causes birth defects in animals, and probably humans.

Carrasco is a leading embryologist at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School and the Argentinean national research council. He had heard the horrific stories of peasant farmers working near the vast fields of Roundup Ready soybeans -- plants genetically engineered to withstand generous doses of Monsanto's poisonous weed killer. The short-term impact of getting sprayed was obvious: skin rashes, headaches, loss of appetite, and for one 11 year old Paraguayan boy named Silvino Talavera, who biked through a fog of herbicides in 2003, death. But Carrasco also heard about the rise of birth defects, cancer, and other disorders that now plagued the peasants who were sprayed by plane. He decided to conduct a study.

Exposing Roundup's 30 year cover-up of birth defects
Carrasco injected minute amounts of Roundup into chicken and frog embryos, and sure enough, the offspring exhibited the same type of birth deformities that the peasant communities were seeing in their newborns. A report by the provincial government of Chaco soon followed, confirming that those living near soy and rice fields sprayed with Roundup and other chemicals did in fact have higher rates of birth defects -- nearly a fourfold increase between 2000-2009. (Child cancer rates tripled during the same period.)

Regulatory agencies had given Roundup a green light years before, claiming that it was free of such problems. However after Carrasco's findings were published, European authorities quietly pushed their official re-assessment of Roundup, due in 2012, back to 2015. And the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, charged with responding to Carrasco's findings, issued a statement claiming that the Argentine scientist must be mistaken; earlier studies conducted by manufacturers of Roundup (including Monsanto) had already demonstrated that Roundup does not cause birth defects.

But in June 2011, a group of international scientists released a report detailing a massive cover-up that went back to the 1980s. The very industry studies cited by the German Consumer Protection office in fact showed just the opposite. Roundup did increase birth defects. Using scientific sleight of hand, Europe's regulators had ignored statistically significant increases in birth defects, and so did every other regulatory agency worldwide. Monsanto has relied on these misleading statements of safety by regulators ever since, using them to deny that Roundup causes birth defects.

Learn more:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dioxin-Like Chemical Messenger Makes Brain Tumors More Aggressive
ScienceDaily (Oct. 6, 2011) — A research alliance of Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), jointly with colleagues of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig, has discovered a new metabolic pathway which makes malignant brain tumors (gliomas) more aggressive and weakens patients' immune systems. Using drugs to inhibit this metabolic pathway is a new approach in cancer treatment.

The group's results have been published in the journal Nature.

Glioma is the most frequent and most malignant brain tumor in adults. In Germany, about 4,500 people are newly diagnosed with glioma every year. About 75 percent of such tumors are considered particularly aggressive with an average life expectancy of eight months to two years. The standard treatment is surgery to remove the tumor as completely as possible, followed by radiotherapy, usually in combination with chemotherapy. However, results are unsatisfactory, because these tumors are very resilient and soon start growing back. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new treatment approaches.

Tumors grow more aggressively and immune system is weakened

The Helmholtz Junior Research Group "Experimental Neuroimmunology" led by Professor Dr. Michael Platten of DKFZ and the Department of Neurooncology of Heidelberg University Hospital and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) headed by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Wick have come across the kynurenin molecule in their studies of human cancer cells and in the mouse model. Kynurenin is formed when the amino acid tryptophan -- a protein component taken in with food -- is broken down in the body. "We have been able to detect increased levels of kynurenin in cancer cells of glioma patients with particularly aggressive tumors," Professor Michael Platten explained. The current research results from Heidelberg show that this link also appears to exist in other types of cancer such as cancers of the bladder, bowel or lungs.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

AOZ Posting & Distribution

Please check regularly for new postings.Items of interest are posted almost daily. Distribution is typically done twice each week unless a time sensitive item is posted. There are always exceptions to the rules.

26 Hawkins Vietnam Vets get $2.7 million for Agent Orange exposure
ROGERSVILLE (Tennessee)— Vietnam veterans nationwide who were exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange during the war are now being awarded disability back pay for heart disease. Among those receiving payments are 26 Hawkins County veterans who have been paid a total of more than $2.7 million in the past 11 months.

A lawsuit against the Veterans Administration was settled last year in favor of Vietnam veterans. The lawsuit, as of Nov. 1, 2010, established ischemic heart disease as a presumptive service connected condition based on exposure to herbicides used during the Vietnam War.

Information about Agent Orange & possible health-related problems and VA benefits
Latest Agent Orange Report: The Institute of Medicine has just released, “Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010.” This is one in a series of reviews of the long-term health effects of herbicides on Vietnam Veterans. VA is assessing this report.
New Vietnam Veterans ship list: VA has released a list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam to help Vietnam-era Veterans find out if they qualify for presumption of Agent Orange exposure.

Agent Orange is the name of a specific blend of herbicides used during the Vietnam era. The military sprayed millions of gallons on trees and vegetation that provided cover for enemy forces.

Some Vietnam-era Veterans were exposed to these herbicides. Learn how Veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides during military service, including outside Vietnam.

VA and many other government departments and agencies have conducted research studies on the possible health effects of Agent Orange exposure on U.S. Veterans.

VA has recognized certain cancers and other diseases related to Agent Orange exposure. Veterans, Veterans’ children and survivors may be eligible for compensation benefits for these diseases and health care benefits.

50 Years of Poisoning - Agent Orange on Okinawa

“Without Okinawa, we cannot carry on the Vietnam war.”

– Admiral Ulysses Sharp, Commander of U.S. Pacific Forces, December 1965.

During the 1960s and ‘70s, the United States military transformed Okinawa into a forward operating base for its war in Vietnam. From mainland American ports, it transported supplies to the island it dubbed its “Keystone of the Pacific” before transferring them into smaller ships for the passage to South East Asia. But there is one vital ingredient of its war machine that the Pentagon denies ever passed through Okinawa – the defoliant, Agent Orange.

Given the fact that the military transported everything else through the island – from tanks and toilet paper to guard dogs and hundreds of thousands of GI’s – such a claim is implausible. Yet as recently as 2004, the US government has asserted that its records “contain no information linking use or storage of Agent Orange or other herbicides in Okinawa.”

Over the past few years, though, the cracks in that denial have started to show. In 2007, it came to light that the Department of Veterans Affairs – the US government body responsible for caring for sick soldiers – awarded compensation to a marine who had developed prostate cancer as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange in the northern jungles of the island. Then in 2009, the same department admitted that “herbicide agents were stored and later disposed in Okinawa” during Operation Red Hat – the 1971 US military project to remove its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons from Okinawa to Johnston Island.