See my comments below.
Michael H. Brownstein
Department of Veterans Affairs Report
REPORT TO TO SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ON THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS AND EXPOSURE TO AGENT ORANGE
CONFIDENTIAL STATUS (1)
As Reported by Special Assistant Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Jr.May 5, 1990
NOT FOR PUBLICATION AND RELEASE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
When we (military scientists) initiated the herbicide program in the 1960’s, we were aware of the potential for damage due to dioxin contamination in the herbicide. We were even aware that the ‘military6 formulation had a higher dioxin concentration than the ‘civilian’ version due to the lower cost and speed of manufacture. However, because the material was to be used on the ‘enemy’, none of us were overly concerned. We never considered a scenario in which. our own personnel would become contaminated with the herbicide. And, if we had, we would have expected our own government to give assistance to veterans so contaminated.
1. That the Secretary undertake a prompt reevaluation of the compensation decision impacting on Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange in light of accumulating scientific evidence that discredits earlier "findings" of an insufficient linkage between dioxin contaminants in Agent Orange and rare disease, such as cancer illnesses.
2. To the extent that the Secretary deems it necessary to use the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Environmental Hazards to assist in his reevaluation, the current members should be dismissed -— having demonstrated a disturbing bias in their review to date of the scientific literature related to Agent Orange and dioxin -- and new members should be appointed in accordance with Section G of the Veterans’ Dioxin and Radiation Exposure Compensation Standards Act, including persons with recognized scientific and medical expertise in fields pertinent to understanding the health effects of exposure to dioxin. The Committee meeting currently scheduled for May 16th and May 17th should be cancelled.
3. That the Secretary in making his decision regarding Agent Orange compensation for Vietnam Veterans do so on the basis of his independent evaluation of the existing scientific and medical evidence on the health effects of exposure to dioxins, as cataloged and discussed in this Report, and in full recognition that the standard to be applied -- as mandated by both Congress and the courts -- requires the resolution of doubts as to a number of cancers linked to dioxins in favor of the Vietnam Veterans.
FULL LINK TO THE REPORT:
More than two decades later, our nation--the United Stats of America--has not corrected the great wrong we did to the Vietnamese, a nation we now consider to be our friend. Now in its fourth generation, the poisons we dropped on Viet Nam--mostly in the South where are allies lived--continues to cause grave problems: serious birth defects, life threatening issues and/or impaired motor and cognitive activity. We have a chance to make this right. A bill is before Congress to address all of the Agent Orange issues in Viet Nam. Please contact your elected officials and let them know you support the passage of this legislation--http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-2634
Michael H. Brownstein, Web Site Administrator