(Washington, D.C.)–"Tens of thousands of service personnel participated in chemical, biological, and radiological experiments," said John Rowan, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America. "Years later, many of these veterans are afflicted with health conditions that may have originated from exposures during these tests.
"Efforts to prove the connection between past exposures and current health conditions have been stymied by the very agencies of government that ought to be advocating for these veterans rather than taking an adversarial stance against them.
"VVA is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit we hope will shed light on what has been secret for far too long," Rowan said. "Morrison & Foerster LLP has filed a petition for class certification for these veterans and their survivors."
For over five decades, the testing of more than 400 different chemical and biological agents--among them LSD, mescaline, mustard gas, and sarin--was concentrated at Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick, Maryland. Tests were also conducted at military installations across the continental United States, in Alaska, in Puerto Rico, and elsewhere. As many as 100,000 active-duty military personnel were involved in these experiments, and most were unaware of the substances to which they were exposed.
"If the courts rule in our favor," Rowan said, "this will be a huge step in the right direction in obtaining justice for veterans whose claims for disability compensation have long been denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs."
For more information on the lawsuit, http://www.edgewoodtestvets.org/