Monday, September 24, 2012

Prenatal damage from dioxin shown to involve microRNAs September 17, 2012 in Medical research (Medical Xpress)—Research carried out at the University of South Carolina has identified novel mechanisms through which dioxin, a well-known environmental contaminant, can alter physiological functions, according to a study published online in the journal PLOS ONE. The research team, which included Narendra Singh, Mitzi Nagarkatti and Prakash Nagarkatti of the USC School of Medicine, demonstrated that exposure to dioxin (TCDD) during pregnancy in an experimental mouse model can cause significant toxicity to the fetus, and specifically to the organs that produce the immune cells that fight infections. They found that dioxin alters small molecules called microRNAs, which can affect the expression of a large number of genes. The study examined over 608 microRNAs, and 78 of these were significantly altered following exposure to dioxin. On the basis of the pattern of changes in these molecules, the team was also able to predict that dioxin can alter several genes that regulate cancer. Many other physiological systems were also affected, including those involved in reproductive, gastrointestinal, hematological, inflammation, renal and urological diseases as well as genetic, endocrine and developmental disorders. Dioxin is a highly toxic chemical produced as a byproduct of industrial processes, such as the manufacture of herbicides or pesticides or the bleaching of paper. Because it degrades slowly in the environment and is soluble in fats, dioxin can bio-accumulate in the food chain and is often found in high concentrations in the milk and fat of animals in contaminated regions. "Our results lend more credence to the hypothesis that fetal exposure to environmental contaminants can have life-long effects," said Mitzi Nagarkatti. "Prenatal damage to the expression of microRNAs in the immune system could well impact the adult immune response." Read more at:

Agent Orange chemical in GM war on resistant weeds A US biotechnology company is set to introduce a controversial new genetically modified corn to help farmers fight resistant weeds. Dow Agrosciences says its new GM product is based on a chemical that was once a component of the Vietnam war defoliant, Agent Orange. It is needed they say because so called "superweeds" are now affecting up to 15 million acres of American crops. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote If we utilise the technology too extensively and rely on it too exclusively, eventually we will develop resistance” Prof Dallas Peterson Kansas State University Dow argues the new approach is safe and sustainable. For a farmer like Jeremy Leech who grows corn and soybeans near Humboldt, Nebraska, resistant weeds are a constant threat to his farm and his family. Last year he spent around $7,500 on chemical sprays to combat the threat to his crops. The herbicide failed to kill the giant ragweed that had grown on his land, strangling his soybeans and his income. Worse, the pungent pollen from the towering pests exacerbated his eight year-old daughter's asthma. READ MORE:

'Faces of Agent Orange' include Indian River County veterans and their children VERO BEACH — During the 10 years of the Vietnam War, almost 20 million gallons of Agent Orange was sprayed on the foliage of the South Vietnam landscape. And now, veterans and their families are left to wonder what the effects of exposure to the chemical means for their children and grandchildren. At a town hall meeting Wednesday night, members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1038 joined with representatives from the Florida State Council and the National Vietnam Veterans of America to address the birth defects, diseases and learning disabilities affecting millions of children and grandchildren of veterans. "We really don't know how many veterans and their families are affected," said Martin Zickert, president of the Veterans Council of Indian River County. "There are a lot of cases of prostate cancer and heart disease that we believe could be related, but there's no way to confirm the numbers because of confidentiality issues." Agent Orange is a blend of tactical herbicides the U.S. military sprayed from 1962 to 1971 during Operation Ranch Hand in the Vietnam War to remove trees and dense tropical foliage that provided enemy cover. "If you were on the ground in Vietnam, you were exposed," said Zickert. "And it wasn't just used in Vietnam. It was used commonly throughout Southeast Asia and Korea." Nancy Switzer, president of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, talked about her family's struggle with the effects of Agent Orange. Her husband served in Vietnam and was sprayed with dioxin, and her children have suffered with various genetic medical issues as a result. READ MORE:

Agent Orange consequences to be overcome by 2020 VietNamNet Bridge – The Viet Nam-US Dialogue Group has announced its aim to overcome the consequences of Agent Orange (AO) and dioxin in Viet Nam by 2020 at the seventh meeting of the Viet Nam-US Joint Advisory Council (JAC) yesterday, Sept 20. The two-day JAC meeting will review the handling of AO and dioxin environmental hotspots, humanitarian activities and dioxin treatment technologies. The next five years will be key towards achieving the group's goal, starting with the treatment of dioxin contaminated soil at Da Nang Airport in 2012. In addition, the US Agency for International Development will provide more support for dioxin victims. The national steering committee on overcoming the consequences of toxic chemicals used by the US during the war in Viet Nam has drafted a plan focusing on detoxification treatment of hotspots, prevention of exposure to dioxin, provision of support for locals living near hotspots, and better services for AO and dioxin victims. The Viet Nam-US Dialogue Group brings together both Vietnamese and American individuals, scientists and policymakers, with a view to mobilising resources to deal with the consequences of AO/dioxin in Viet Nam. By the end of last year, the group raised US$91 million for the clean-up of dioxin in Da Nang, Bien Hoa and Phu Cat. Of the sum, one third went to health care programmes in eight provinces nationwide, benefiting 20,000 people with disabilities. The group's activities have so far helped bring about positive changes. On December 22, 2011, US President Obama signed an Act on Budget Allocation for 2012, under which, $15 million was given to tackling dioxin hotspots in Da Nang airport and US$5 million went to a health care programme targeting dioxin-contaminated areas. Last year, the Vietnamese Government also pledged to invest VND28 billion ($1.3 million) in caring for AO and dioxin-infected victims in Friendship Village. So far, the biological dioxin treatment technology has been applied successfully at Da Nang airport. It is expected to be used in other large-scale areas in the coming time.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BDRC vetvideo
from Betty Birth Defect Research for Children Mekdeci

976 Lake Baldwin Lane, Suite 104, Orlando FL 32814 | 407-895-0802 |

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Amendment introduced yesterday by Senator Gillibrand of New York:

Congressional Record
112th Congress (2011-2012)

TEXT OF AMENDMENTS -- (Senate - September 11, 2012)

SA 2784. Mrs. GILLIBRAND submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 3457, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a veterans’ jobs corps, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table, as follows:

On page 18, between lines 5 and 6, insert the following:


(a) Compensation.--Subsections (a)(1) and (f) of section 1116 of title 38, United States Code, are amended by inserting ``(including the territorial seas of such Republic)'' after ``served in the Republic of Vietnam'' each place it appears.

(b) Health Care.--Section 1710(e)(4)(A) of such title is amended by inserting ``(including the territorial seas of such Republic)'' after ``served on active duty in the Republic of Vietnam''.

(c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect as of September 25, 1985.

Monday, September 10, 2012

US dioxin cleanup politically driven
By Wayne Dwernychuk
The author is an environmental scientist in British Columbia, Canada.
For over three decades, the US has claimed that no proof exists that the use of Agent Orange by their military during the Vietnam War is the cause of significant health complications in Vietnamese citizens who may have been exposed to the herbicide.

Vietnamese scientists, shortly after the cessation of hostilities between the two countries in 1975, described an increase in human birth defects and other health-related issues in areas sprayed with Agent Orange. The Vietnamese were convinced that Agent Orange was the prime stimulus for observed abnormalities in human birth and immunological disruptions causing deterioration in human health.

The US refused to accept data generated by Vietnamese scientists on the basis that their research did not meet Western standards of rigor. As a consequence, a stalemate has existed for these many years between the two countries, and has been a continuing barrier to completely normalize diplomatic relations between the US and Vietnam.

The Global Times published an article, "Agent Orange cleanup overdue, and not enough for real justice," on August 27. The article provides a correct overview of the problem of dioxin contamination, and the long-term activities and costs associ cleanup objectives.

My question, however, is this: If the US maintains and advances the mantra of that there is no proof that Agent Orange or dioxin has caused any human health issues in Vietnam, why then is the US offering financial assistance to Vietnam to support cleanup efforts at Da Nang International Airport, which will undoubtedly lead to additional funding for cleanup at other former US military bases in Vietnam labeled as dioxin hot spots?


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Consumer Group Wants USDA To Reject “Agent Orange” Soy

Food Poisoning Bulletin
The Center For Food Safety (CFFS) wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reject Dow Chemical’s request that a genetically modified soybean that is resistant to a major component in Agent Orange be approved for use. The group is circulating a petition to show the agency that consumers resist the move.

Agent Orange is the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Health concerns about exposure to it are still being explored but include increased risk of soem types of cancer and birth defects in offspring of those exposed. Dow’s genetically engineered soybean is resistant to 2,4-D , a component of Agent Orange.

CFFS is concerned that approval of the soybean will lead to a greenlighting of approval for similarly engineered crops, harm wildlife and expose millions of Americans to a toxic chemical. According ot the petition, “Dow plans to sell this GE 2-4,D soy “stacked” with resistance to glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup—and glufosinate herbicides, yet neither Dow nor USDA has analyzed the potential synergistic or cumulative impacts that these planned combinations pose. Glufosinate has both reproductive and neurological toxicity to mammals, and on this basis is slated to be banned in the EU by 2017. ”

CFFS is a non-profit organization that challenges food production technologies and practices it considers harmful and promotes sustainable alternatives. It is based in Washington, D.C..

California - Proposition 37 - Monsanto, Dow - Agent Orange

No on 37: The same corporations that brought us DDT and Agent Orange
The No on 37 campaign: brought to you by the same corporations that told us DDT and Agent Orange were safe, orchestrated by the same guys who helped mislead the public about the health risks of tobacco. Now they're telling us we don't have a right to know if our food is genetically engineered.

Monsanto, the largest contributor to No on 37 at $4.2 million, was the primary manufacturer of Agent Orange, the code name for herbicides used by the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War. U.S. soldiers were told that it was “perfectly safe” and often wore little protective clothing when applying it, as shown in our ad. Agent Orange is now linked with various types of cancer and other diseases.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

LINK CORRECTION: Birth Defect Research for Children fund raising link

We are hoping to gain public support for the work we are doing on birth defects in the children of Vietnam, Gulf War veterans and those who have been exposed to similar exposures in the civilian environment.

We know that veterans’ families whose children have been affected are struggling financially and we aren’t asking them to give. But, they can help us get their story to the public. We have a fundraiser at
. The more activity there is on a fundraising page, the more likely it is to be featured on the front page where millions can see it. Just making comments, visiting the page frequently to look at updates and generally showing that this is a charitable cause that people are interested in will help us compete for a front page feature.

If you could share this with your list and just ask them to visit the site and make a comment, it would be a huge help.

With best regards,

Betty Mekdeci
Executive Director
Birth Defect Research for Children

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Navy Veteran pushes bill to help "Blue Water Sailors"
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- David Zielinski was a "Blue Water Sailor" who served at sea, never stepping foot on land.

"As soon as I turned 17, I enlisted,” Zielinski said. “We were right out in the waters outside Vietnam, protecting the waters from any ships or anything else, any enemy ships or planes coming in. We were like the protectors in the waters."

On shore, Dave's comrades faced a jungle. To clear away foliage, the military dumped millions of gallons of Agent Orange -- a chemical experts now link to several diseases. The U.S. government acknowledges that men with "boots on the ground" were likely affected. Those stationed on vessels nearby, who believe they were exposed through the air or water supply, are still fighting for equal benefits.

“As me being a Navy man, being out to sea...when we run out of water, we'd convert salt water into fresh water. We'd shower with it; we'd drink it; we'd eat it,” Zielinski continued.

Japanese peace boat arrives in Danang
A group of nearly 40 victims of Agent Orange (AO) worldwide and those Japanese affected by atomic bombs aboard Japan’s Peace Boat joined in an exchange with Vietnamese AO victims in Danang city, on August 31.

Dioxin clean-up project grabs US headlines

At the event, the participants shared the pain that the AO victims suffered during the war and encouraged each other to overcome difficulties in their daily lives.

The same day, over 300 young people from the locality and Peace Boat engaged in a cultural exchange, where they had a chance to enjoy traditional music performances.

Since 2007, the Peace Boat has mobilised nearly VND500 million in aid for AO victims based in Danang city, which is chosen as its regular destination each year.

Action Alert: Keep Dow Chemical's "Agent Orange" 2,4-D soy from coming to a plate near you
From Food Democracy Now:

Dow Chemical is back at it again! Last week Dow Chemical donated $1.2 million to defeat Prop 37 to label genetically engineered foods, which will appear on the ballot in California this fall. At the same time, they happen to be petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the approval of a new genetically engineered"Agent Orange" soybean that tolerates the extremely toxic chemical herbicide 2,4-D, a major component of the Vietnam War era defoliant Agent Orange.

Not only does Dow Chemical not want you to know what's in your food, but now they want to dump more toxic chemicals on it too! Numerous studies have linked exposure to 2,4-D toserious health problems that include cancer (particularly non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), lowered sperm counts, liver disease and Parkinson's disease. In addition, dozens of peer-reviewed studies have found the use of 2,4-D to contribute to hormone-disrupting activity linked to reproductive problems and thyroid dysfunction.

Now Dow AgroScience wants to spray this toxic chemical on our food and in our fields in unprecedented amounts. To help put a stop to this and read more, go here:

Project Agent Orange Poetry Blog poetry to empower Agent Orange victims

Chemicals, Dirt and Rainwater

A Poem by Devlin De La Chapa

He stood amidst the fields of foreign crops
like a statue frozen in time-
as his body remains, his mind
rewinds present to past,
the past, pitch black darkness
and it’s raining inconsistently, but in
the present, the sun is consistent,
shining down bright over his obscurity;
he’s a beautiful man, a broken man,
a man raped by the ill politics of one
country’s hunger to save everything,
and everyone, for a country fighting
amongst their own pillars of division;
the piper cub flying over the foreign fields
dispenses his soul, and he becomes
a multi hue of Agent Orange liquescence,
and his ignorance dries like a Monsanto fragrance
of cologne enriched of chemicals, dirt and rainwater