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.