February 11, 1999
(202) 628-2700 Ext. 158
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA CALLS FOR NEW TOXIC CHEMICAL STUDIES
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has joined the National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) in calling for new, broader studies of the adverse health effects
of Agent Orange and other toxic substances. Of particular concern is the
synergistic impact of multiple toxins, such as dioxin, other chemicals
in Agent Orange, Malathion, etc., to which Vietnam veterans were exposed.
VVA has expressed disappointment with the findings of Veterans and Agent
Orange: Update 1998, released today by the Institute of Medicine of the
NAS. "While VVA continues to have confidence in the National Academy of
Sciences and is grateful to the scientists who served without pay on the
Committee, the findings do not advance Vietnam veterans and their families
closer to the answers to our vital concerns," said George C. Duggins, VVA
national president. "Justice delayed is literally justice denied for some
veterans who have already perished. We need to have answers before most
who served in Vietnam are dead."
Duggins also stated, "The problem is that the NAS report is a review
of the scientific literature and, thus, can only be as good as the available
data sets and studies. Apparently the available studies on birth defects,
diabetes, and other adverse health conditions are too limited to show conclusively
a link to exposure to Agent Orange and other toxic substances prevalent
on the Vietnam battlefield. These findings only point to the need for Congress
and the Administration to take steps to fund research in Vietnam and additional
independent studies in the United States."
The NAS, in its report, repeatedly pointed to the need for additional
studies on Agent Orange and other toxic battlefield substances.
Vietnam Veterans of America point of contact for additional information
is Rick Weidman at (202) 628-2700 Ext. 127.
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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally
chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of
Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's founding principle
is "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."