February 28, 2000 (202) 628-2700 Ext. 158
AGENT ORANGE RESEARCH AGREEMENT IN HANOI TO BENEFIT VETERANS IN VIETNAM AND UNITED STATES
Representatives of Vietnam announced what is considered to be a major
breakthrough in Agent Orange/Dioxin research. In discussions held at the
Ministry of Science, Technology and environment in Hanoi, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sinh,
director, Department of Environment, announced a willingness to participate in
meetings of Vietnamese and U.S. scientists to develop plans for joint Agent
Orange research projects in Vietnam. Director Sinh further stated that Vietnam
is prepared to begin these meetings within the next 60 days.
"It is most important that scientists begin this long overdue research
in Vietnam without further delays. Even though all the health problems
associated with exposure may not fully be known at this time, there is much to
be learned. Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is pledged to assist with the
planning and support required for these critical meetings to take place,"
said VVA’s National Vice President Thomas H. Corey, in Hanoi.
American Vietnam veterans have been suffering for years due to exposure to
multiple chemicals sprayed in Vietnam. Approximately 19 million gallons of
herbicides were sprayed by U.S. Forces in South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971.
Veterans have been displeased with previous studies lacking sufficient rigor
to draw conclusions about their health questions regarding diabetes, cancer,
heart disease, and other physical problems.
Corey, leading a delegation of veterans to Vietnam and Laos, was extremely
pleased with the announcement. "This is VVA’s 13th trip to
Vietnam for the Veterans Initiative Program addressing the humanitarian issue
of Vietnamese and American soldiers missing from the war. VVA has a long
history of concern for the victims of Agent Orange, we have been working with
the Vietnamese to facilitate joint research projects. After all our mutual
efforts, we are finally observing the results of our labor," Corey said.
Members of the VVA national delegation accompanying Corey included Bob
Maras, chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee who also serves as the
organization’s New Jersey State Council president; Janet Alheit, Corey’s
assistant and nurse; Bob Necci, chair of the national POW/MIA Committee;
George Claxton, chair of the Agent Orange/Dioxin Standing Committee; and Dr.
Linda Schwartz, chair of the national Task Force for Health Care and Policy.
VVA’s point of contact for additional information and itinerary is Scott
D. Campbell at (202) 628-2700 ext. 158.
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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