March 14, 2000
(202) 628-2700 Ext. 158
CONGRESS CONVENES OVERSIGHT HEARING ON RANCH HAND STUDY
The subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International
Relations will convene an oversight hearing March 15, 2000, to examine the
status of the Air Force Ranch Hand Study, an ongoing investigation into the
long-term health effects of herbicide spraying, including Agent Orange, during
the Vietnam War.
The hearing will focus on a recent General Accounting Office (GAO) report
that found the Air Force study results have not been properly communicated to
veterans and the public, and that the study has had little impact on
eligibility determinations on compensation of Vietnam veterans presumed
exposed to the herbicides.
In January, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) National President George C.
Duggins expressed frustration when the General Accounting Office’s report on
their investigation of the Ranch Hand Study validated what VVA said of the
study two years ago. "The Air Force study is flawed and unreliable",
Duggins said. AThe federal
government still has a responsibility to find out how exposure to Agent Orange
has affected the health of Vietnam veterans and their children. The Ranch Hand
Study, sanctioned by the Department of Defense, has not accomplished that
mission. We need a competent study and analysis of what may well be a very
reliable data base of information by an independent body. It is hoped that the
hearing will stop the slow-rolling of the data gathered and clear up the
misleading, incomplete, and inaccurate information released by the Air Force.
The health of veterans and their families depends on it.@
The hearing will convene on Wednesday, March 15, 2000, at 10 a.m. in Room
2247 of the Rayburn Building, Washington, D.C.
VVA’s point of contact for additional information 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