AO 2007 Update
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Note from Dave:
Carefully note the feet on the ground issue is not mentioned. Stay tuned as we will keep updating.

Agent Orange 2006 (2007) Review
By David Barker

Agent Orange was last used in 1971, according to Department of Defense officials. These of course were the same group of citizens, who told us Vietnam was the only area the toxic substance was used, where our troops had any chance of exposure. Then over the past several years, we of course discovered it was used in many places where troops were exposed. Places such as Thailand, where I had USAF veterans taking an oath it was used, the government denied their claims, constant denial. Of course a few years ago, it was discovered all of those thousands telling the same story were indeed telling the truth. In 1985 a veteran I represented, stated in a sworn statement Agent Orange was used at the Air Force base in Guam. That claim also was denied. Then veterans exposed in Korea pressed the issue, until admission was finally made that the deadly herbicide was used on the DMZ in Korea. Now we know it reaches from misuse of storage in Alaska, outright used in Okinawa and denied by the DoD, to who knows where on bases through out the United States. This seems to me as the biggest cover-up in military and naval history. Affecting millions!

The VA and the National Academy of Sciences agreed on a ten year study, from the original Veterans and Agent Orange 1994. There was to be an update every two years for ten years. The recent study release is number seven, I count 7X2= 14. Thus we are now four years over the ten year agreement, with many unanswered issues, such as neurological conditions other than peripheral neuropathy, including Parkinsons disease, heart conditions, stroke, and many birth defects not shown in the first decade of life. We find ourselves at the mercy of a program controlled by bureaucrats. Largely composed of people who never served in the military or naval services. The research has gone much slower than most of us expected. The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs advises the National Academy of Sciences of issues that need to be researched. That again leaves the Agent Orange veteran at the mercy of whatever administration that is in power. It is beyond my thinking, of why it is so difficult, to get the issues studied. In just the past 5 years, my limited patient records access, in the Agent Orange issue, I have reviewed over 1,000 veterans health records of Agent Orange exposed veterans and see several common conditions in much higher proportion than the not exposed counterpart. That using same age and sex comparison. I have observed much higher ratio in peripheral neuropathy, hypertension, heart conditions, carcinomas, multiple melanoma and other skin disorders. I have also noted offspring problems with high ratio of diabetes as well as cancers.

BIRTH DEFECTS LEAVE A MAJOR QUESTION

In 1983 when my Agent Orange articles were first published, my studies indicated birth defects not found in the first two decades of life. The problems which were not noted at birth such as undeveloped organs, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, learning disabilities, dental problems and several muscular disorders. In my first years as a veterans service officer, I opened over 1,100 VA claims on Agent Orange related issues. Many of these involved veterans claims who had children suffering from undeveloped organs, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, learning disabilities, dental problems and several muscular disorders. In 1985 I ran a request in the VFW Magazine asking the Vietnam war members to contact me in answering the birth defect questions. That project was a failure as the veterans simply did not respond. The birth defect issue is still pressing as the children now seek help at my office. I am neatly powerless unless the birth defect is Spina Bifida. VA simply does not recognize the other defects.

The 2006 (2007) report by the National Academy of Sciences is completed and the report is now published. Unfortunately the Birth Defects studies in children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange, ended with no consensus. The adult children were shown to have some predisposition to certain cancers which develop after the child reaches adulthood. There were other conditions researched as well. This is the first time the NAS has not made a consensus decision on an issue. Please review this site for updates.

From the NAS Summary: OCR for page 13endpoints, such as metabolic syndrome and male-mediated effects in offspring, merit laboratory investigation and study of human populations. Meta-analyses of the available data on effects among the children of veterans are recommended. In addition, as the offspring of Vietnam veterans grow older, the possibility of a paternal effect on adult cancers, cognitive problems, and other diseases of maturity will be of increasing interest. This committee notes that the earlier investment in studying several exposed populations is now producing useful findings; the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Saves, Air Force Health Study, and Army Chemical Corps cohorts all merit continuing follow-up or more comprehensive analysis. It is especially important that longitudinal analyses be conducted on cancer and reproductive endpoints from the complete database assembled in the course of the Air Force Health Study. Consideration should also be given to restarting the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study. New epidemiologic studies, such as a case-control study of tonsil cancer developed from VA’s existing files or a study of reproductive effects in the Vietnamese population, could enable the recovery of valuable information. PREPUBLICATION DRAFT: UNCORRECTED PROOFS 13

My above comment is a quote from the Summary of that same report. The it is typical of the old days when I played the 'parlay' (sic) cards. It said on the bottom "in case of tie you lose" and that was true. Hopefully enough research will continue to continue to push these issues. The ten year NAS review period is over, we are at the mercy of those elected political leaders to ask for reviews.

Will they? May be the answer is up to us! Send those cards and letters to your representatives in congress. Tell them we need the research to continue.

Subject: AO hypertension

If a veteran has been diagnosed with hypertension of HBP on active duty, or within one year from separation the condition is presumptive. It should be granted at the outset. However if not diagnosed on active duty, or within one year from separation, the veteran must show a causal effect.

Agent Orange type herbicides in my opinion are a causal effect for hypertension. I have filed possibly more than 1,000 claims to get the condition as a matter of record in my clients VA claims folder. Now if the cases remained in continuous prosecution we will have some very early effective dates.

The veteran most likely is still going to be required to have a physicians diagnosis of 'hypertension due to exposure of AO type herbicides is more likely than not." In my experience with VA doctors, it appears most, if not all, will be supportive. In the past years, I have filed multiple hundreds of claims for veterans with hypertension, who were exposed to Agent Orange type herbicides. Expert physicians, whom I work with direct, consistently state some veterans hypertension is a result of their exposure to Agent Orange.

Here is a recent press release: WASHINGTON 7/25/07 - Exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam may lead to high blood pressure in some veterans, but the evidence is limited and only suggestive, the Institute of Medicine said Friday.
The IOM, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has been studying the effects of the herbicide Agent Orange on veterans since the early 1990s, and is issuing its seventh update.
Two recent studies of Vietnam veterans who handled Agent Orange and other defoliants indicated that these veterans have higher rates of high blood pressure, the report said. Hypertension affects more than 70 million American adults and is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
The new findings were consistent with other studies that looked at the health effects of herbicides. However, a new environmental study and an earlier study of workers in a herbicide manufacturing plant did not find evidence of an association between herbicide or dioxin exposure and increased high blood pressure.
Because of the inconsistent results the institute said the evidence is suggestive of, but insufficient to conclude with certainty, that exposure to the herbicide leads to high blood pressure.

AL amyloidosis

The new update also said there is suggestive but limited evidence that AL amyloidosis is associated with herbicide exposure. A rare condition that affects one person in 100,000, AL amyloidosis is characterized by the accumulation of protein deposits in and around organs. The committee said AL amyloidosis shares many biological and pathological similarities with multiple myeloma and certain B-cell lymphomas, which have previously been found to be associated with exposure to herbicides.
 

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