Pesticide Poisoning Resources
Pesticide Poisoning Resources
Monsanto Corporate Connections.
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I have been sitting on this information for several weeks now. Un-sure of how to present it to thousands of people, I have spent many hours becoming familiar with the project. It is an amazing piece of work that I have been navigating like a video game of sorts. I am offering this to all of you now so that everyone has an idea of what is going on in our World, Nation, States, Cities, and Towns behind closed doors.
I have started everyone with Monsanto’s Map. Each line draws a connection to another company. Each chair is yet another connection. Everything is “clickable” as well as allowing you to move the screen…Yes that’s correct, tap your mouse of the screen and drag it left right down up, and you will see the map expand.
After you become familiar with the idea of what you are navigating, Take your attention to the left hand side of the page. There you will find a world of links that you can learn to use individually. As an example, If you click on “companies” Box A and Box B will appear. You can then scroll on a list of companies to choose to see if they are connected to each other.
Please be patient when the program loads, after you watch the introduction, you will without a doubt know what you are seeing in front of your own eyes.
I encourage everyone to SHARE… PLEASE DO NOT SEPARATE THE LINKS!!!! I worked very hard on this post so that everyone understood what they were looking at.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
2013 All Rights Reserved
AGENT ORANGE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE OFFICIAL COVVHA TESTIMONY
There is a renewed push for the Institute of Medicine to take seriously the claims made by the Children of Vietnam Veterans and their families about the birth defects and illnesses they are suffering from. The adverse affects of the dioxin laden herbicide sprayed over the jungles of Vietnam, AKA Agent Orange, have been well known since the government first admitted in 1991 to cause illnesses in Vietnam Veterans. For years, the veterans and their families have been saying birth defects and rare illnesses have affected their children’s health. These anomalies and illnesses are not only happening in the children of Vietnam Veterans (2nd generation), but now are showing up in alarming numbers in the grandchildren (3rd Generation) of Vietnam Veterans as well.
January 16, 2013, Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance (COVVHA) participated, in the public hearings for the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee to Review on the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) in Irvine, California. Tanya Mack, COVVHA Core Chairperson, and California resident, gave testimony on behalf of COVVHA to the committee. Tanya Mack is the Daughter of a recently, deceased Vietnam Veteran who succumbed service connected Agent Orange illnesses. She was born with severe hip dysplasia and has developed several rare aggressive cancers in her thirties which she is currently still fighting.
“The Institute of Medicine is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public (From the IOM website).” They have been commissioned to review biannually, the most current data available about herbicides and the health effects on our Veterans. In the past, the IOM have been responsible for getting new illnesses added to the presumptive list for our ailing Vietnam Veterans. Like On October 13, 2009, when, the Veterans Affairs added three new medical conditions for Vietnam Veterans presumptively associated with exposure to herbicides; hairy cell and other B-cell leukemia’s, Parkinson’s disease, and ischemic heart disease, to the list of covered illnesses.
Included in COVVHA’s report to the committee, were the number and types of illnesses and congenital anomalies found in the second and third generation members of COVVHA. This includes the ailments that mirror the Vietnam Veterans and the congenital anomalies found on the list of birth defects covered in the children of women Vietnam Veterans. Tanya Mack, shared several studies from the early eighties including Ranch Hand studies and a current epigenetic study from Washington State that show a correlation to trans-generational exposures to dioxin, with the committee for them to consider. Several recommendations were made as to the next actions to help the children of Vietnam Veterans in the most practical ways.
Three of COVVHA recommendations included approving the currently covered eighteen plus, birth defects for children of female Vietnam Veterans for the children of male Vietnam Veterans. The second recommendation included the request for free DNA and Epigenetic testing for the biological children of Vietnam Veterans as needed, and an official Agent Orange Registry for Children of Vietnam Veterans. COVVHA made several other recommendations that were included in their submitted testimony.
Highlights of other participant’s testimony:
Ken Holybee, Director at Large, of Vietnam Veterans of America. Ken pointed out in the Veterans and Agent Orange 2008 Update, the IOM Committee concluded that it was plausible exposure to herbicides that could cause paternally mediated effects in offspring as a result of epigenetic changes, and that such changes would most likely be attributable to the TCDD contaminants in Agent Orange. He urged the committee to follow up on their 2008 recommendations. Due to the continued suffering the VVA sees in the families who attend their Agent Orange Town Hall Meetings.
Debra Kraus, widow of a Vietnam Veteran, Activist and Artist, shared a slideshow presentation of her art that is based on her experience through her husband’s dealings with the V.A. and health issues.
Elayne Mackey, National Health Committee co-chair for the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA). AVVA recommends the creation of Centers of Excellence to provide for research, treatment, and social services for the offspring of veterans of all eras who have been exposed to toxins while in service to our country.
Wesley T. Carter, Chair of the C-123 Veterans Association, asked for two possibilities, the Department of Defense designates the contaminated -123 aircraft, by specific tail number, as Agent Orange exposure sites. The other for the VA to accept claims from veterans able to provide evidence of service aboard the aircraft known to have been contaminated.
Andy Olshan, PhD, Chair of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina and Kim Boekelheide, MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Science, Brown University phoned into the meeting. The Doctors gave their opinion on the likelihood of Paternal Transmission of Dioxin through Sperm. The Doctors stated that paternal transmission is relatively small because the male system is made to minimize the transmission of issues and that there is not enough evidence to support the theory that Dioxin is transmitted through sperm.
COVVHA is committed to serving as a voice for the children of Vietnam Veterans including second and third generation victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin Exposures worldwide. We believe in empowering each other to hold the companies and governments responsible for causing so much devastation and suffering to our generations. We fight for justice globally. We hope the IOM will make the responsible recommendations to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Please, see the full testimony submitted to the Institute of Medicine attached which also includes Tanya Mack’s personal health struggle with Agent Orange related birth defects and cancers.
COVVHA members and supporters who have joined our email subscription will also receive the Video of Tanya’s testimony. If you would like to receive the video and other information from COVVHA you can subscribe in the box below
Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update… by View Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance’s profile on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/COVVHA1″>Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
Camp LeJeune, NC – Marine Toxic Water Update 2013
On March 15, 2013 the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released its “Chapter A: Summary and Findings” water modeling report for the Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard Water Treatment Plants and Vicinities for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/hadnotpoint.html). Enclosed you will find a copy of the ATSDR fact sheet about this report and other information from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
During 2007–2009, ATSDR published historical reconstruction results for Tarawa Terrace and vicinity. Results for Hadnot Point, Holcomb Boulevard, and vicinity—based on information gathering, data interpretations, and water-modeling analyses—are now presented as another series of ATSDR reports supporting current health studies.
March Against Monsanto 2013 season is here! Please read the following for important information.
On October 16, 2011, Kelly L. Derricks, also known as TRUTH TELLER traveled to New York City where she gave a public speech about Agent Orange after being invited by Millions Against Monsanto to participate in the rally event for World Food Day. Since then, the illness list she referenced reported by Children of Vietnam Veterans has grown to nearly 800 which are listed on the website of the Non-profit she Co-Founded, (COVVHA) Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC., with Heather A. Bowser.
Kelly has battled severe health issues since she was born that continue today. Some of her illnesses, presumed to be associated with the inter-generational effects of Agent Orange, include but are not limited to the following:
• Chronic kidney disease
• Crohn’s disease
• Addison’s disease
• Congenital adrenal hyperplaysia
• Intersticial cystitis.
*Her complete list of illnesses staggers to 35 different things.
Please Watch the video below
© 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.
(C) James J. Alonzo
With all the illnesses, malformed babies, and suffering from Agent Orange, one could wonder who the person that ordered it to be used was. It was Elmo Zumwalt Jr., who as commander of U.S. naval forces in Southeast Asia that ordered the chemical defoliant sprayed over the South Vietnamese countryside to deprive communist troops of cover.
Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr. (November 29, 1920 – January 2, 2000) was an American naval officer and the youngest man to serve as Chief of navel Operations. As an admiral and later the 19th Chief of navel Operations, Zumwalt played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Viet Nam War.
After his selection for the rank of Rear Admiral, Zumwalt assumed command in July 1965 of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Seven. In September 1968, he became Commander Naval Forces, Viet Nam, and Chief of the Naval Advisory Group, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
Zumwalt’s command was not a blue water unit, like the Seventh Fleet; it was a brown water unit: he commanded the flotilla of Swift boats that patrolled the coasts, harbors, and rivers of Vietnam. Among the swift-boat commanders were his son, Elmo Russell Zumwalt III, and later future Senator John Kerry. During this time, the elder Zumwalt had an opportunity to safeguard the men who served under his command from the Viet Cong who hid in the jungle and ambushed American and ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) patrols at will.
A new group of herbicides, Agent Orange, White, and other assorted color names, could be sprayed on the foliage to remove the cover that the Viet Cong used so effectively. It was claimed at that time that the side effects on humans of long-term exposure to Agent Orange were not yet known, and the manufacturers, Dow and Monsanto, were eager to reassure potential users about its safety.
Admiral Zumwalt acted to protect not only his own son, but also his many comrades from a “clear and present danger,” but in so doing, he exposed them to chemicals now known to cause cancer. As all commanders must do, Admiral Zumwalt acted quickly and decisively on the available information; in this case, he relied on sources that were biased and unreliable, as later developments made clear.
In the end, he paid personally for his decision. Zumwalt’s son, Elmo Zumwalt III, died in 1988, aged 42;
Zumwalt’s grandson (born 1977) suffers from a congenital dysfunction that confuses his physical senses. Zumwalt’s son, prior to his own death, said in 1986 that
“‘I am a lawyer and I don’t think I could prove in court, by the weight of the existing scientific evidence, that Agent Orange is the cause of all the medical problems – nervous disorders, cancer and skin problems – reported by Vietnam veterans, or of their children’s severe birth defects. But I am convinced that it is.” He also said he never blamed his father for his disease.
Admiral Zumwalt said he felt his son’s cancer was most definitely due to Agent Orange. He also mentioned that his grandson Russell suffered from very severe learning disabilities that could possibly be traced to it as well. However, Zumwalt said he did not regret ordering the use of Agent Orange, because it reduced casualties by making it difficult for the enemy to hide and find food.
Admiral Zumwalt, along with his son, authored a book called My Father, My Son, published by MacMillan in September 1986, where they discussed the family tragedy of his son’s battle with cancer.
After treatment in a number of hospitals, Elmo Zumwalt III went to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center inSeattle, where he received a bone marrow from his sister Mouzetta, whose tissues fortunately matched his well enough for this treatment to be feasible. Results were promising but in the end, he died in 1988.
Sadly the Zumwalt family also suffered from Agent Orange. Was it all a case of “What goes around, comes around” or for those of the eastern thought, Karma”?
The health effects of a Roundup -tolerant genetically modiﬁed maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivatedwith or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1ppb in water), were studied 2years in rats. Infemales, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was vis-ible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological pro-ﬁles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than andbefore controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was mod-iﬁed by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5times higher. This pathology was conﬁrmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Markedandseverekidneynephropathieswerealsogenerally1.3–2.3greater.Malespresented4timesmorelargepalpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600days earlier. Biochemistry data conﬁrmed verysigniﬁcant kidney chronic deﬁciencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameterswere kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.
Considering the world that we live in I thought it prudent to cover things that many people hardly think about. Or they consider them benign.They actually are not benign and many of these common household and beauty items are toxic.
You consider your dishcleaner, glass cleaner, carpet freshener, aerosol fragrances, fragrance candles, furniture polish, bathroom cleaners etc mostly safe right? Many of you do not blink before buying a bottle or a can of some cleaning product. But when you consider that you can make them yourself for less of a cost to your wallet, why not make it yourself? You could get your children involved with supervision and help them to learn what to do for their own future. Give them the power of self sufficiency.
If you say well I do not have time then you really have to ask yourself some questions:
1.Do you have time to get ready go to the store and go out purchase what you need everytime you run out?
2.Do you have the gas money to continually go purchase more chemicals that could be causing health problems in your home?
3.Do you have the money to invest in your health that could be avoided if you just made your own instead?
4.Do you have the money to take your children or your pets to the hospital or the vet?
5.Wouldn’t it be easier to just plan ahead, buy what you need in a larger amount and make it yourself?
6.Would you truly be better off doing what you have always done?
Your health and that of your loved ones is more important that some company making money off of something that you can produce yourself. You can make it from ingredients that are not so worrying. Such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, orange oil, borax and castile soap? Would you worry as much if your cat or your child consumed some of this instead?
Would you rather they consumed things such as:
1.Carcinogens– Carcinogens cause cancer and/or promote cancer’s growth.
2.Endocrine disruptors – Endocrine disruptors mimic human hormones, confusing the body with false signals. Exposure to endocrine disruptors can lead to numerous health concerns including reproductive, developmental, growth and behavior problems. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to reduced fertility, premature puberty, miscarriage, menstrual problems, challenged immune systems, abnormal prostate size, ADHD, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and certain cancers.
3.Neurotoxins – Neurotoxins alter neurons, affecting brain activity, causing a range of problems from headaches to loss of intellect
Pesticides. One of the most counter-intuitive health threats is that of products that disinfect. Common sense tells us that killing household germs protects our health. However disinfectants are pesticides, and the ingredients in pesticides often include carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Pesticides are fat-soluble, making them difficult to eliminate from the body once ingested. Pesticides, including disinfectants, may also include alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs).
APEs. APEs act as surfactants, meaning they lower the surface tension of liquids and help cleaning solutions spread more easily over the surface to be cleaned and penetrate solids. APEs are found in detergents, disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners and laundry cleansers. They are also found in many self-care items including spermicides, sanitary towels and disposable diapers. APEs are endocrine disruptors.
Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is commonly known as a preservative. Many people do not know that it is also a germicide, bactericide and fungicide, among other functions. Formaldehyde is found in household cleaners and disinfectants. It is also present in nail polish and other personal care products. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen.
Organochlorines. Organochlorines result from the combination of hydrogen and carbon. Some types are highly deadly, such as DDT. OCs are bioaccumulative and also highly persistent in the environment. OCs are present in pesticides, detergents, de-greasers and bleaches. OCs are also present in drycleaning fluids. OCs are carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
Styrene. Styrene is a naturally occurring substance derived from the styrax tree. Styrene is most commonly used in the manufacture of numerous plastics including plastic food wrap, insulated cups, carpet backing and PVC piping. Styrene is also found in floor waxes and polishes and metal cleaners. Styrene is a known carcinogen as well as an endocrine disruptor. Exposure may affect the central nervous system, liver and reproductive system.
Phthalates. Phthalates are most commonly used in the manufacture of plastics. Phthalates are also used as carriers for perfumes and air fresheners and as skin penetration enhancers for products such as moisturizers. These chemicals are classified as inert and as such no product-labeling requirements exist for phthalates. They are endocrine disruptors and suspected carcinogens. Phthalates are known to cause hormonal abnormalities, thyroid disorders, birth defects and reproductive problems.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted as gases suspending themselves in the air. VOCs include an array of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects, and are present in perfumes, air fresheners, disinfectants and deodorizers. VOCs commonly include propane, butane, ethanol, phthalates and/or formaldehyde. These compounds pose a variety of human health hazards and collectively are thought to be reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, liver toxins and carcinogens.
Do these sound like something you want anywhere near someone you love? These are in many readily available products in your grocery.
The following link can help you to avoid some of these items.
My first piece of advice would be this. READ ALL LABELS. Learn everything and if you do not recognize an ingredient then put the bottle or jar or box down. Go home or search on your cell phone what it is. Because what you choose to bring into your home are going to effect you and your family. If you are already ill then this can only make things worse. The idea is to remove as many toxins as you can from your home. Remove them and give your body a chance to heal itself. Again if you say I do not have time then you must consider do you have time for health problems that could be avoided?
The best cleaner I have found personally was vinegar and orange oil. It is not hard to do at all. Get two jars and fill one mostly with vinegar. Leave some room for orange peels. Buy orange and eat them as you finish them save the skins and put them into the jar.Close the jar and continue on in your day. Do this for two weeks and remove the vinegar and put it into some spray bottles. Then throw out the peels and normally you will create a few bottles of this cleaner. I use mine to clean windows, surfaces anything that i can use to spray and wipe down. Yes it does smell like vinegar at first but once that fades you will have a clean surface. That is important and you have no lingering toxic cloud of perfume. Usually if it has a strong perfume it isnt good for you or your lungs.
Here is where I will include some recipes for cleaning products.
None of these are difficult to make and if you sit down and consider the annual cost of those chemicals that you are using. Now consider spending that money on items that are healthier i think it is worthwhile. You could go online and search for a bulk purchase store in your area. You could go to a grocery store and buy a big bag of baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice. Yes essential oils are expensive but you only need a few drops to make a quantity of cleaner. Well worth it i think compared to the chemical concoction sitting under your sink.
You can of course consider some of the ethical, natural and organic options of premade cleaners if you like too. Such as some of the ones listed on here.
I do think however that if you consider the time that you have more carefully and make them yourself you will end up in the long run spending the same that you would on common cleaners from the store. If you purchase them from eco friendly websites and store you may end up paying a bit more. So why not do it yourself? You can do that and tell your friends and encourage them. See taking the power into your own hands can make you feel good. You are in control of what goes into your home. Take that power back!
You will be amazed at what you can accomplish if you just stop and consider what you can do instead of focusing on what you cannot do. The power is in your hands to change your life. I believe that anyone can make a change in their lives for the better. So take some time and consider what you really are putting into your home. Think about the effect it is having on your family. We all know the environment in the home is much more toxic than outdoors. So doing what I am suggesting can help to reduce that toxicity and give you fresher air to breathe.Quiescent Aureate Serpent © 2013 (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. All rights reserved.
Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act
All Legislation Endorsed and/or Opposed Has Been Approved and Reviewed by Kelly L. Derricks
It has never been easier to write your State Representative and share your position on current legislation. C.O.V.V.H.A. has been making it even easier for members, fans and followers!! The days of getting your pens and papers out to send your letters are over!!!
An “action page” link has been set up for the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act H.R.1699 & S.809 which takes you directly to the specific legislation as well as an area for your Name, Zip Code, and YOUR VOTE. That’s it!!! You hit enter and your information is sent directly to your State Representative in letter form which you will receive a copy of via email.
Your VOICE does count, PLEASE, use it!!!
I personally casted both of my votes and included the following statement to the United States House and Senate: I support H.R. 1699 (“To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that genetically engineered food”) because… GMO foods are engineered with health threatening compounds and chemicals and then sprayed with half of the chemical compound used in the production of AGENT ORANGE. The U.S. Gov’t killed my Father at the age of 37 after serving in the Vietnam War. Agent Orange/DIOXIN was passed through his sperm mutating my DNA. I have to fight for my life every single day with more than 30 diagnosed illnesses at the age of 38 and so do tens of thousands of other Children of Vietnam Veterans who were exposed. Now the gov’t doesn’t care that we are being DOUBLE EXPOSED. That’s Capital Murder if you ask me. You’ll see me standing in a court room bringing charges of Murder against the United States Govt before you see me standing down on GMO.
The national Just Label It coalition applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation today to require food manufacturers to inform consumers when packaged food contains genetically engineered ingredients.
The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act was introduced today by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
“Americans want to know more, not less, about their food,” said Katey Parker of Just Label It, which has more than 650 partner organizations. “More than 90 percent of Americans want the same rights as consumers in 64 countries around the world. It’s time to trust American consumers with information about genetically engineered ingredients so they can make the best choices for themselves and their families.”
More than 1 million Americans have petitioned FDA to require labeling on packaged food containing GE ingredients.
To view the Senate version of the bill, click here.
To view the House version of the bill, click here.
By: Just Label It
Posted on April 24, 2013
CURRENT EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO YOUR CONTACTS & HELP US RAISE AWARENESS
A note to C. Jack Ellis and David Oedel – What each of you “don’t get” is that while you banter back and forth, we sit hear dying. While the fight to bring justice to Vietnam Veterans and their children exposed Agent Orange rages on internationally, you both neglected to give your readers any information on where they can find help. Well gentleman, Here we are, (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. We respectfully ask that you stop arguing and start advocating. Kelly L. Derricks – President/Co-Founder (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.
ELLIS: David Oedel just doesn’t get it
Published: April 21, 2013 By C. JACK ELLIS — Special to The Telegraph
I have always considered David Oedel a friend; however, I am disappointed beyond belief with his attitude toward veterans in general and Vietnam veterans in particular, pertaining to the effects of Agent Orange.
Oedel is dead wrong on several of his pronouncements and assertions in his latest column in The Telegraph.
Let me be clear that my advocacy for veterans and their families did not begin when I first ran for elected office. The record will reflect that I have been on this journey since the 1970s when the Institute of Health discovered/revealed that the Agent Orange toxin was responsible for many ailments affecting Vietnam veterans and their offspring who were born with spina bifida shortly after their fathers returned from Vietnam.
Oedel states that my son was born in the early 1990s, which is not true. I returned from my first tour of duty in Vietnam in late 1968, and my son was born with spina bifida in late 1969. Most of the 2,200 children born with spina bifida to Vietnam veterans were conceived within a year after their fathers returned from Vietnam.
I guess Oedel’s way of thinking is that these 2,200 children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida shortly after their father’s return is just mere coincidence. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Oedel also stated in his April 14 column in The Telegraph) that children born to Vietnam veterans should not be compensated because they did not serve in the military. Oedel should know there are countless civilians affected by war. In the war zone, this is referred to as collateral damage.
Oedel went as far as quoting an ancient article in The New York Times as his source of information pertaining to Agent Orange and its effects on veterans and their offspring.
There was nothing casual about being sprayed with and/or operating in contaminated areas with this toxin for long periods of time. What was most shocking and appalling is Oedel’s assertion in his column that the thousands of Vietnam veterans suffering from prostate cancer because of Agent Orange and being compensated by the Veterans Administration are not deserving of such compensation. He further indicated that the only reason that our children are being compensated is because former President Bill Clinton needed to make amends with the military brass, so he decided to do so by throwing a bone to the veterans and their offspring.
For Oedel’s information, spina bifida and prostate cancer are not the only abnormalities caused by Agent Orange in which the VA is compensating veterans. The list is long. Among these include Hodgkin’s diseases, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, respiratory cancers, diabetes and many others.
I am willing to bet that if Oedel and his offspring were suffering from such birth defects because of his exposure to a deadly toxin in combat that his attitude would be entirely different. I am inclined to believe that Oedel just doesn’t get it as it relates to veterans and their families being compensated with “largesse” for injuries caused in a war zone and beyond.
For whatever reasons, he insists on referring to these benefits as largesse or gifts from the government. Lastly, his implication that I and other politicians who fight for what’s rightfully due our veterans and their families are politically motivated. Those accusations are beyond the pale, and quite frankly, disgusting and insulting to every veteran who has worn the uniform, especially those who have worn it in combat, thus giving Oedel the right and freedom to state his uninformed opinions.
I feel Oedel owes an apology, not only to veterans, but politicians, as well. Oedel just doesn’t get it.
C. Jack Ellis is a retired Army non-commissioned officer and a former mayor of Macon.
Read Oedel Article here : http://www.macon.com/2013/04/14/2437885/oedel-extra-benefits-as-largesse.html
A new peer-reviewed scientific review paper has been released in the US stating that glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are contributing to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
The review paper states that “glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of …food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Dark Matters Season 3 Episode 1, Agent Orange – The Accidental Inventor
Synopsis: A chemical that speeds up the flowering process in soybeans turns into a weapon during Vietnam.
Original air date: November 22, 2012
Dark Matters: Twisted But True is a television series featured on the Science Channel. Hosted by actor John Noble of Fringe and Lord of the Rings, the show takes the viewer inside the laboratory to profile strange science and expose some of history’s most bizarre experiments. This show uses narration and reenactments to portray the stories in this show
Genetic traits used to be literally shot into plants with a gun, using little metal bits coated with DNA. Nowadays, Monsanto employs a slightly different process, using a bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens to infect plant cells with pieces of DNA containing the desired traits, as pointed out by Colorado State University ’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
Monsanto also makes corn, potatoes, cotton and soybeans that can synthesize their own insecticide called Bt toxin, a trait grabbed from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Other GM crops are being developed to resist drought via the introduction of genes from other plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana, aka thale cress; moss; and yeast.
Genetic modification is the cornerstone of agriculture — through generations of breeding, humans took one species, the wild cabbage Brassica oleracea, and turned it into a host of different foods, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Now, biotechnology has accelerated the process and allowed breeders more precision in designing their crops. There is much disagreement about the cost of these advances.
“There is broad scientiﬁc consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat,” Pamela Ronald, a Univeristy of California at Davis professor, wrote for Scientific American in 2011. But the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has warned of “serious health risks” indicated by animal studies measuring the effects of GM foods.
And much of the public is convinced that genetic modification is a health danger — hence the fierce push to label GMO food and broad restrictions on GM crops in Europe.
In 1996, the New England Journal of Medicine published a paper that identified a possible allergic reaction to GM soybeans. A team led by University of Nebraska scientists found that a Brazil nut protein introduced to improve the nutritional quality of GM soybeans was able to provoke an allergic reaction in people with Brazil nut allergies.
However, this problem can likely be nipped in the bud with proper safety testing. U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher Eliot M. Herman noted in the Journal of Experimental Botany in 2003 that the GM soybean injected with the Brazil nut gene “was abandoned during development, no product was released and no one was harmed.”
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require biotechnology companies to do premarket safety testing, including allergen testing (although the agency does recommend it). Calls for making premarket safety testing mandatory have come from numerous groups, including the American Medical Association, as reported by the Chicago Tribune . The prospect of hidden allergens could also be an arrow in the quiver of those who are pushing for labeling GMOs in the U.S.
Another health concern related to GMOs rests on the possibility that genes might be transferred elsewhere. The nightmare scenario would be an antibiotic-resistance gene getting inadvertently passed to pathogenic bacteria in a person’s stomach. Much of the work that’s been done indicates that the rate of horizontal gene transfer from plants to animals and bacteria is probably very low. But, admittedly, there’s a real gap in our understanding of how genes may or may not be transferred from GM crops — or other crops, for that matter — into the cells of the gut and the bacteria that live in the digestive tract.
Authors of a 2012 report on animal-feeding studies in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that while it’s clear a small amount of DNA from the diet can survive digestion, we have yet to see evidence that such dietary DNA can be integrated into the genome of an animal or even into the genome of a bacterium residing in the gut.
“However, major methodological limitations and knowledge gaps of the mechanistic aspects of [horizontal gene transfer] calls for methodological improvements and further studies to understand the fate of various types of dietary DNA in the [gastrointestinal tract],” the researchers at the University of Milan wrote.
The one major study of GMO feeding in humans that looked at horizontal gene transfer was published in 2004 in the journal Nature Biotechnology . Researchers looked to see if the Roundup Ready transgene — the one that codes for the herbicide-resistant enzyme — showed up in waste collected from seven volunteers who had had their large intestines removed for medical reasons. While a small amount of the transgene was found in bowel microbes in three of the seven subjects, the gene-transfer rate did not increase after they ate the transgenic soy, leading the researchers to conclude that whatever gene transfer occurred did not happen during the experimental period.
In subjects with fully intact intestinal tracts, the transgene did not survive passage. The results indicate that while horizontal gene transfer after eating GM crops might be feasible at low rates in certain medically compromised people, it would probably be quite rare in most consumers.
A 2008 paper in the journal Environmental Biosafety Research by an Australian researcher who reviewed the risks of GMOs associated with horizontal gene transfer concluded the potential danger was “negligible.”
Overall, it’s clear more research is needed about the ability of genes to move from GM crops into the animals or humans who eats them.
Meanwhile, some individual studies have conclusively found GMOs to be harmful. But many of these have been harshly criticized for loading the dice.
Gilles-Eric Seralini, a researcher at the University of Caen in France, took a second look at Monsanto data on experiments feeding GM corn to rats in three papers, and claimed the numbers actually showed the animals fed GMOs suffered organ damage, based on the rodents’ growth and organ weights. But several European Food Safety Authority reviews found that Seralini’s math was off, that the rats’ organ weights were within an acceptable range, and that his team’s conclusions were not supported by the evidence.
A 2012 paper by Seralini and other researchers purportedly found that a GM corn diet led to cancer in rats. But the study was released under extremely odd circumstances — Seralini made reporters sign confidentiality agreements that prevented them from asking other scientists to give their opinions on his research before an embargo lifted. And once other scientists got a look at the paper, the reaction was almost universally condemnatory, as exemplified by the European Food Safety Authority .
One main objection stemmed from the fact that the rats used in the study belong to a strain called Sprague-Dawley, which is extremely prone to tumors later in life. While Monsanto did use Sprague-Dawley rats in its own experiments with GM corn, such trials lasted for 90 days, whereas Seralini’s experiment went on for two years.
Many critics also said the number of rats used for such a long experiment — 10 rats for each experimental condition — was far too small, as Discover noted. In addition, there were curious gaps in the mortality data for the control rats: It’s unclear whether they died after developing tumors.
A 2011 paper by Canadian researchers supposedly found Cry1Ab, an insecticidal protein made in certain GM crops, in the blood of women and in the cord blood of fetuses. But the study, examining just 30 pregnant women (and their fetuses) and 39 nonpregnant women, also came under attack for its methods and conclusions by critics such as Food Standards Australia New Zealand . The method the researchers used to detect Cry1Ab in the blood has been called into question, and the authors provided no dietary evidence on any of the study subjects. Without that, there’s no way to conclusively draw a link between anything found in the blood and GM crops.
Read More Via - GMO Health Risks: What The Scientific Evidence Says
By ROXANNE PALMER |
Published on International Business Times (http://www.ibtimes.com)
Herbicide use set to increase as Monsanto joins forces with Bayer, Dow Chemical
Today the Monsanto Company, well known for its pesticide and genetically modified seed technology, consolidated its influence over the agricultural industry with the announcement of a licensing agreement with rival Bayer CropScience.
The deal will give Bayer CropScience a license to use Monsanto’s herbicide-tolerant Roundup Ready® soybean technology in the U.S. and Canada. The technology allows for food crops to be doused in the chemical glyphosate, a powerful endocrine disruptor, in order to control weeds.
Bayer will also gain access to a second technology, known as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, which is currently awaiting regulatory approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Roundup Ready 2 Yield will enable crops to survive applications of Roundup and also a second herbicide, dicamba.
Dicamba has been identified as a developmental toxin, capable of interfering with the development of a fetus that may lead to birth defects or developmental malformations.
Read More Via - http://www.examiner.com/article/herbicide-use-set-to-increase-as-monsanto-joins-forces-with-bayer-dow-chemical
APRIL 16, 2013 BY: JUDSON PARKER
Bayonne City Council took the first step towards a possible resolution of a suit that has unwittingly ensnared Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority over the cost associated with the dumping of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange in local waterways.
The City Council voted on a resolution at its March 20 meeting that would could allow the MUA to settle a suit it was sucked into several years ago, when state and federal authorities tried to get companies responsible for the dumping the toxic chemical into local waterways to foot the bill for some of its impact.
Although veterans from the Vietnam War suffered side effects from the chemical used to help clear jungles during the conflict in the 1960s and ’70s, many were unaware until years later that some of these agents spilled out into the Passaic River during manufacturing at a plant in Newark.
Several years ago, New Jersey filed suit against Occidental Chemical Corporation, Maxus Energy Corporation and Tierra Solutions, Inc., alleging they intentionally discharged dioxin – an extremely dangerous, cancer-causing chemical – and other contaminants into the Passaic River. New Jersey also ordered the three companies to pay the state $2.3 million to develop a plan to dredge contaminated sediments in a six-mile stretch of the Lower Passaic River that includes a portion of Essex and Hudson counties near Newark, Harrison, East Newark and Kearny.
Read more: Hudson Reporter Via A clear path?brfont size=2iBayonne moves to escape Agent Orange litigation/font/i.
Agent Orange still haunts Iowa Vietnam vets
Veterans waiting longer for aid as health problems persist
IOWA CITY — Unlike warmly welcomed veterans of earlier and later wars, Vietnam vets got the parting gift that keeps on giving: Agent Orange — a plant defoliant that mistakenly included the carcinogen dioxin.
Nearly 40 years after the war’s end, disability claims for often-deadly ailments caused by the ubiquitous toxic spray continue to mount, as do wait times for disposition of disability claims.
Though it would be difficult to confirm with government statistics, the number of veterans suffering Agent-Orange-related afflictions almost certainly exceeds the more than 358,000 U.S. military personnel killed or wounded in combat with the enemy during the Vietnam War.
“We track things by the condition itself, not by the cause of the condition,” said Randal Nollen, a spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.
“The number one population that we handle for disability claims is Vietnam veterans with Agent Orange-related ailments,” ahead of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Don Tyne, director of the Linn County Veterans Affairs Office.
During the past eight months, Tyne said his office has helped more than 1,000 Vietnam veterans apply for disability benefits.
Tyne said the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs has 7,000 pending disability claims, with an average wait for disposition of 18 months.
“This is the longest wait period since I’ve been here. Ten years ago it was 90 days,” Tyne said.
We will fight together till all Agent Orange Victims find justice. We will speak out about our what it meant to have Vietnam Veterans as parents. By sharing our experiences we will each become stronger. Welcome – You are not alone! At this time we are asking that only Children Of Vietnam Vets Join This Group.
This group is for Veterans and caregivers who dedicate themselves to the well being of their loved ones suffering due to the long term consequences of Agent Orange and Dioxin exposures.
Please remember if you are a Vietnam Veteran, a wife of a Vietnam Veteran, or the child of a Vietnam Veteran, you are not alone. There are thousands of us who have struggled for decades with illness, loss, and diminished quality of life due to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. Agent Orange was sprayed repeatedly over Southeast Asia, exposing our veterans to the 20 million gallons of dioxin laced herbicide throughout their time in Vietnam. They were told it was nothing to worry about, that it was safe, and when they began falling ill, they were called crazy.
Today I will share one story of a local woman’s battle as a result of her husband’s time in Vietnam. I met Joye, who is from Mineral Ridge, Ohio, through social media. I knew her husband was a Vietnam Veteran and that her son was ill, however it wasn’t until last month when I saw her Facebook wall full of people sharing their sympathy to her and her family that I knew something had gone terribly wrong. Joye and I live close to one another, and I reached out, asking if we could meet. Agreeing, she invited me to her home, and as we sat in her warm kitchen on a cold March morning with her sister Rosie, Joye began to share.
It was after his time in Vietnam that Joye met her husband George at a dance. George had served in the Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970, including two tours in Vietnam, in Da Nang, Quang Tri, and other areas in a motor transport division. He experienced the Tet Offensive and in the process of his service, he was exposed to Agent Orange. George was actually a Canadian citizen at the time of his service, but the Marine Corps turned a blind eye and allowed him to serve.
Joye reminisced about the early times in their relationship, and with a smile she remembered the early days. She spoke of the nervousness she felt after the dance where they met. “I noticed at the dance, he started to sweat porously. I asked him if he was ok. He said yes,” said Joye,” adding that after the dance, he had to go back to Camp Pendleton, and she didn’t hear from him for three weeks. She had almost given up hope on a second date, when he called to apologize, sharing that he had come down with Malaria and had almost died. Eventually, George and Joye were married.
In 1973, their first son James was born. Joye had labored for 47 hours. James was a large baby; more than nine pounds. As their son grew, they noticed some developmental issues. The fingers on one of his hands seemed stunted; Joye described them as being “stubby.” His fine motor skills were delayed, and he had a speech impediment. By age five, he had his enlarged tonsils removed. Problems continued to develop; as James suffered hearing loss and anxiety, causing him to literally shake when he was excited.
A large boy, James endured being bullied and teased as a child and became an introvert. It wasn’t until he was in his thirties that James would finally be diagnosed with an adrenal problem which explained his size. Unfortunately, it was before that, that James had begun coping with his anxiety with an eating disorder. He whittled his six foot frame down to 135 pounds.
James had his first mental break down, which included a full-blown episode of mania, at 23 years of age. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the day James slipped into psychosis, his father George was scheduled to have angioplasty on his heart. Tearfully explaining how difficult the day was, “I felt so torn, I wanted to be with my son, but I also needed to be there for my husband,” said Joye. Becoming tearful as well, Rosie reassured her, saying, “We took care of him Joye, you needed to be with George.”
Joye’s husband George has seen his struggles as well. Sharing that she feels her husband should have been diagnosed with PTSD, “He suffered from a lot of anxiety,” she said of her husband. George has ischemic heart disease, diabetes and peripheral neuropathy all of which are recognized by the VA as illnesses brought on by Agent Orange exposure. He also lost his hand in an industrial accident in 2002. Currently, George is rated at 60% by the Veterans Administration.
Although George was at home when I visited, he did not come out to introduce himself to me. Asked if she and her husband ever talk about the war and the effect it has had on their family, Joye looked down and said, “No, he really never talks about it.”
Tragedy struck Joye and George, when Joye suffered a miscarriage while pregnant with their second child in 1977. Joye recalled having three vivid dreams about having a miscarriage prior to it happening. “I was told the baby was deformed,” she said.” Her eyes filling with tears again, her sister moved close to her. I asked her if it was a hard time in her life, to which she tearfully replied, “Yes, very traumatic.”
Finding happiness again in 1978, Joye gave birth to their second son, Jason. “He has always been thin but has issues with his GI tract. He has terrible social anxiety. Now, he has no health insurance, so he doesn’t take care of his medical problems. He does what he can to see a therapist on a regular basis for his social anxiety,” said Joye.
As her sons grew into adulthood, James, her oldest, continued to add illnesses to what he was already dealing with, and over the course of his lifetime, suffered with asthma, heart disease, congestive heart failure, schizoaffective disorder, salivary cyst, blood infections, pulmonary embolism, anorexia /obesity, and diabetes. Through it all, when he was healthy enough, he worked as a medical technician.
“Throughout his life he was very brave. He always told jokes, which made everyone laugh. I don’t think many people knew how James struggled, but as his mother I knew. At times, he felt like there was no way he would every find someone to love and spend his life with,” said Joye. Fate had a way of intervening.
Crossing one more hurdle, James became engaged to lovely women named Dawna. They planned to be married on October 26, 2013, having known one another for 13 years. Having paid for everything for the wedding and honeymoon, everything was set; however, two months into their engagement, James’s health suddenly took a turn for the worse.
Lying on the couch complaining he just wasn’t feeling well, both his mother and fiancé’ became extremely concerned. Taking him to the hospital, it was discovered that James had gone into septic shock, and while there, his organs shut down and he suffered a heart attack. Two months after his engagement, at the age of 39, James slipped away. He died on February, 12, 2013.
“Knowing how much James suffered during his life makes it so hard to deal with his death,” Joye stated. As I sat with her and Rosie, the grief was thick.
As I listened to Joye’s story, I could not help but be reminded of my own family struggle. My dad, a Vietnam Veteran, was also exposed to Agent Orange. My Mother suffered two miscarriages; I was born in 1972 with multiple birth defects. My Mom went on to have another miscarriage between my brother and me. My brother was born in 1978, without birth defects but currently struggles with mysterious body aches.
Instead of losing an adult sibling, it was my father who passed away at a young age. At 38, he had five bypasses on his heart. At 40, he developed diabetes, at 48 he had a stroke, and at 50, he died of a massive heart attack. All the while, the VA denied my father’s service connected disability. My birth defects are not recognized by the Veterans Administration.
The sad fact is, we may never have a clear number of just how many children of Vietnam Veterans have been negatively impacted by Agent Orange. We have already lost so many to miscarriage, devastating birth defects and a life time of perpetual illnesses, like James. How do you compensate a parent’s loss like that? Joye made a point saying, “I always believe the damage was done on the cellular level.” She may just be right, current epigenetic research is finding trans-generational instances of birth defects happening in the offspring of female mice exposed to dioxin (Skinner, 2012).
Currently, the United States government denies there are any illnesses caused by Agent Orange in the children of Vietnam Veterans. It recognizes one birth defect in the offspring of male Vietnam Vets, Spina Bifida, but only the two rarest forms. This is covered because when the children of Ranch Hand veterans (those who actually did the spraying) were studied there was a higher instance of neural tube defects. There are currently eighteen plus birth defects acknowledged and compensated for in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. The government denies these birth defects were caused by herbicide on the VA website. They claim the birth defects are related to the woman’s time in Vietnam, not herbicide.
This is clearly a money game pure and simple. There were only 8,000 women who served in Vietnam compared to 2.8 million men. If they open that can of worms, they will have to pay a lot of people. They are using the same tactic they have used on our dying Vietnam Veteran fathers. Deny until they die. We have always been in the same boat as the veterans. It’s just becoming more evident as we age. As more of us begin to die from our unexplained illnesses like James Lange, the less number of us the government ever has to acknowledge, ultimately saving money.
(COVVHA) Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, INC. has discovered many common illnesses in their membership; several types of Cancer, Autoimmune Diseases, Diabetes, Ischemic Heart Disease, and many more. There is no collective research going on to address these issues in our ailing generation. Asking Joye what she would like to see done, “I want to see compensation for all of the people who have had to live this. It’s been too long. It shouldn’t be done after all of us (Vietnam Veterans and their wives) have died. We will end up leaving our children and grandchildren sick and dying without help,” she said.
Another question to ask is why is there such a high instance of mental illness, learning disabilities, and developmental delays in the children of Vietnam Veterans? Is it the whole time honored debate of nature versus nurture? Do the kids of Vietnam Veterans seem to have a higher instance of mental illness because they were raised in a home dealing with the aftermath of war? Or do the kids of Vietnam Veterans have a higher instance of mental illness or learning disabilities, because they were changed epigenetically due to their father’s exposure to Agent Orange?
(COVVHA) Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, INC. encourages its members to self-report any illnesses they suffer from. Out of 500 members in January 2013, there were over 700 reports of types and instances of mental illness in its membership. Not every child of a Vietnam Veteran struggles with mental illness, but it is a constant hurdle in many of our lives. Not enough is being done to make sure the children of Vietnam Veterans are getting the health care they need to properly manage their mental health issues.
In Australia, the government offers free counseling to Veterans and veteran’s families through the VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counseling Service. It is specialized, free, confidential counseling for Australian veterans, peacekeepers and their families. They provide treatment for war related mental health issues. Our children of veterans in the United States have no extra support in dealing with the aftermath of war. We have endured difficulties such as; growing up with a Vietnam Vet trying to readjust to civilian life, being born with disabilities due to our father’s dioxin exposure, watching our veteran fathers die prematurely of service connected deaths from Agent Orange, and dealing with chronic debilitating illnesses. When we seek help we mostly find practitioners who have no idea the toll war can take on a family. We become discouraged and think we are alone.
The children of Vietnam vets need an intervention. We need the United States government to make policy changes to ensure that those of us who have disabilities from our father’s exposure are compensated, eligible for health care, mental health care, and vocational training as needed. It’s time to take responsibility for what has been done to us and our families.
Vietnam Vets are now watching their grandchildren being born with multiple birth defects, developmental problems, Spina Bifida, rare illnesses, and the like. This is the third and newest generation to have to play out this horrible science experiment. Our Vietnam Veteran’s lives have been a cruel game of Russian roulette, they have watched as Agent Orange has not only destroyed their own health, but is now moving through the genes of the their children and grand children. Ultimately many do not dodge the Agent Orange bullet.
Rest in Peace James Lange, a beloved 39 year-old child of a Vietnam Veteran. He did not fight in the jungle, but fought his whole life despite.
COVVHA continues to provide support for the children of Vietnam Veterans who believe their life has been negatively affected by Agent Orange. If you would like more information please visit us at www.covvha.net.By: Heather A. Bowser, LPCC
Children of Vietnam Veterans: Their Voice Keeps Growing
Originally Published By Salem-News.com (Mar-27-2013 11:36)
COVVHA was founded by two children of Vietnam Veterans. Heather A. Bowser and Kelly L. Derricks. Both of their lifes have been significantly affected by Agent Orange. Kelly lost her father at age seven due to Agent Orange illnesses. Kelly currently suffers from twenty eight, unexplained illnesses which forced her to retire from her career in the mental health field. Heather was born with several birth defects, including missing her right leg below the knee, several of her fingers and big to on her left foot. Heather was born two months premature and only weighed 3.4 ounces. Her father is also deceased. Heather’s father had five bypasses on his heart at age 38, subsequently he died at ace 50 from a massive heart attack. His death was service related due to his Agent Orange exposure.
Kelly and Heather founded this organization because there are so many needs that are not being met in their peer group. The most pressing one, is the government has not acknowledged the devastating birth defects and illnesses in the children of male Vietnam Veterans, like they have in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. Currently, the government acknowledges eighteen plus birth defects in the children of female Vietnam Veterans. They only acknowledge one birth defect in the children of Male Vietnam Veterans. Spina Bifida. This, Kelly and Heather both feel is discrimination. Especially because they have so many reports of similar birth defects and illness.
COVVHA has also built a private support community for only children of Vietnam Veterans. It has over six hundred members. They educate and support each other in this group. Kelly and Heather want their members to understand that they are not alone. Many of them have lost, or are in the process of losing their Vietnam Veteran, plus they are dealing with birth defects or unexplained illnesses.
They are also seeing an influx of children of Vietnam Veterans who start researching Agent Orange because their child, the grand child of the Vietnam Veteran has been born with an issue, or suddenly has a rare illness.
COVVHA deals with a lot of issues, like grief, illness, anger and the like. The group also enjoys each others company and find many similar anecdotes of what it was like growing up with a Vietnam Veteran.
COVVHA is also involved in supporting international efforts in cleaning up, and disclosing locations of buried herbicide. Heather has traveled three times to Vietnam. She has visited two of the most poisonous hot spots still contaminated with Agent Orange, Da Nang, and Bein Hoa. Heather has also worked with organizations in Vietnam who support the on going health care of the Vietnamese children who are still being born today with birth defects due to their parents or grand parents exposure and the continued environmental pollutants. Recently Heather traveled to Okinawa, Japan to educate those seeking answers about reports that Agent Orange herbicide was stored, used and buried on the island of Okinawa. Building community with those who may have suffered due to Agent Orange in Japan is very important to the organization.
COVVHA seeks unity in all those who have been affected by Agent Orange dioxin so that our community may build strength in numbers and that our voices would be heard by those who make decisions.
(C) (COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.
Soon they also might be asking whether their potatoes and soybeans are genetically modified. Not only is the Vietnamese government considering lifting the current ban on genetically modified organisms, it hopes to blanket as much as one-third of the country’s farmland with genetically engineered crops by 2020.
This is too much too soon. Vietnamese officials are reasonably worried about how to feed a country of 90 million. But the policy change is based on one-sided information from those who would profit from G.M.O. sales, and it displays little concern for consumer protection.
What’s more, Monsanto, the chemical company that would help bring biotechnology to Vietnam, is the one that brought it Agent Orange during the war four decades ago.
Advocates say genetically modified seeds produce greater yields, in part because they are resistant to insects, herbicides and drought. Opponents say the promise of higher productivity is a myth and warn of overdependence on single-crop agriculture, damage to the environment and for consumers.
These are the kinds of costs and benefits that a country should weigh for itself. But in Vietnam the issue is barely being discussed, even though the state has a knack for public-service announcements. When politicians make a push for motorcyclists to wear helmets or teenagers to abstain from drugs, they slather the streets with Soviet-style posters and the newspapers with editorials.
Jeffrey Smith, director of the Iowa-based Institute for Responsible Technology, told me that government officials he met in Hanoi in 2011seemed troubled by the dangers of genetic modification — and of their colleagues’ disregard for their concerns. The people Smith talked to, he said, worried that some members of the government “were basically taking dictation from Monsanto” and ignoring information that genetically modified foods are “potentially damaging to the economy and food sovereignty.”
Washington Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON – Two weeks a year for six years, Carroll Jandreau stepped away from life in far northern Maine to dig, crawl and sleep in the dirt of a massive military training base in neighboring Canada.
2001 Press Herald file photos by Gregory Rec
“When we would go there, they would say, ‘Make sure not to bathe in the pools of water, not to drink the water and not to eat the vegetation,”‘ Jandreau said. “But we couldn’t eat the vegetation because the leaves were all brown and crisp.”
Jandreau, a member of the Maine Army National Guard, would learn decades later why the grass and shrubs covering the training grounds at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown appeared burnt.
From the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s, Canadian officials applied massive quantities of chemical herbicides and defoliants — including a small amount of Agent Orange — to Gagetown’s fields to keep the vegetation at bay.
Now, Jandreau and a growing number of other veterans from Canada and New England suspect the cancers and other diseases they developed later in life may be linked to their time at Gagetown.
“A lot of the guys that went there and a lot of the people I knew died from kidney cancer,” said Jandreau, a Fort Kent resident who has battled renal cancer, diabetes and breathing problems.
To date, the Canadian and U.S. governments have only compensated a relatively small number of people who served in 1966 or 1967, when Agent Orange was sprayed. According to both governments, there is no evidence of health risks to other veterans.
Last week marked another setback for U.S. veterans hoping to receive disability benefits for ailments they blame on Gagetown. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed with a 2007 Canadian government study that determined herbicides sprayed at the base posed no public health threat to veterans.
Members of Maine’s congressional delegation responded with cautious dissatisfaction.
Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican who requested the study last year, said she was “disappointed that it does not appear that the thorough investigation the (Obama) administration promised to undertake went beyond a review of the pre-existing Canadian report.” Collins said she had hoped the CDC would talk to veterans and their health care providers.
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, pledged to continue pushing the U.S. Veteran’s Administration “to pursue all possible options,” including establishment of a voluntary “Gagetown registry” to help track and inform veterans.
“Government reports may state there was little to no risk in training at Gagetown, but I know a lot of Maine veterans strongly disagree and some continue to suffer from diseases associated with herbicide exposure,” said Michaud, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “While the recent CDC report reviews the soil and the contaminants, there has not been anything that looks specifically at the veterans themselves.”
Veterans seeking disability benefits face the daunting challenge of proving their lung or prostate cancer, diabetes or other ailments regularly found in the general population are definitively linked to time spent at Gagetown decades ago. Often, a definitive link is elusive.
As a result, Gagetown has spawned class-action lawsuits in Canada, congressional inquiries in the United States and conspiracy theories on both sides of the border accusing military officials of a major cover-up.
“It’s scandalous,” said Gary Goode of Fernie, British Columbia, a Gagetown veteran and lung cancer survivor heavily involved in the debate in Canada. The fight over chemical use at Gagetown is exponentially louder in Canada than in the United States due to the estimated 300,000 Canadian veterans who trained or were stationed at the base.
“I know the Canadian government has said that they did an independent study, but there was nothing independent about it at all,” Goode said of the 2007 study recently evaluated by the CDC.
I am writing this letter to make readers aware of the physiological impact of Agent Orange on Vietnam Veterans and their offspring 40 years later, through a daughter’s perspective. I am a proud daughter of a Vietnam Veteran who is undergoing treatment both psychologically and physiologically for the exposure to Agent Orange while serving his country.
Between 1961 and 1971, the U.S. sprayed approximately 20 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated herbicides over Vietnamese terrain; among them were compounds called Agent Orange. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel were exposed to chemicals in the air, water, and soil. In 1970, the federal government found evidence that TCDD (contaminant known to be toxic to humans) caused birth defects in laboratory mice, yet Agent Orange was used in Vietnam for another 8 months.
A significant number of Vietnam Veterans have children and grandchildren with birth defects and health issues related to exposure to Agent Orange. The public must be aware of the consequences of the chemical exposure. The burdens that they may impose may well be borne for generations. I am concerned that there is a correlation to my health issues and my father being exposed to Agent Orange, as well as my father’s submergence of health concerns.
The Agent Orange Act of 1991 stated that those diagnosed with certain illnesses associated with Agent Orange, were eligible to receive medical services for their conditions. Fewer than half a million Vietnam Veterans have undergone the Agent
There needs to be more awareness of this topic. It has been suggested to hold veterans health forums at the chapter and state council levels, and to contact state officials to hear these stories for added exposure. I urge you or a family member with exposure to Agent Orange to contact your local VA for more information at 866 363-4486. For veterans and their families, struggling with unexplained illnesses, disabilities, and death, every needless delay poses a severe cost that can’t be repaid later.
Kerry (Tripp) Mello
Masters of Social Work candidate
Bridgewater State University
In the spring of 1945, 180,000 US soldiers clashed with 120,000 Japanese troops, catching Okinawa civilians in the crossfire; almost a third of the population lost their lives.
However less well-known is the suffering the islanders have been forced to endure since the end of that war. In 1952, the US military was granted control of Okinawa under the Treaty of San Francisco and soon it took advantage of the island’s influential location in the South China Sea.
OKINAWA – A TIMELINE
|1400s: Okinawa, an independent kingdom, starts a trading relationship with China which stays out of the island’s domestic affairs in return for tributary of goods.1609: Japanese samurai invade Okinawa and take share of Okinawa’s trading profits. For the next 270 years, Okinawa exists in a gray zone.1879: Okinawa becomes a prefecture of Japan; Japan introduces policies to bring Okinawa in line with the rest of the country – including the suppression of the island’s culture and language.1920s: Widespread famine causes tens of thousands to leave Okinawa in search of work overseas and in mainland Japan (where they experience widespread discrimination).
1945: Battle of Okinawa kills 145,000 Okinawan civilians.
1952: Treaty of San Francisco ends the Allied Occupation of mainland Japan but Okinawa remains under US administration.
1959: US jet crashes into Miyamori Elementary School killing 17 people.
1969: Leak of nerve gas on base sickens 23 US GI’s – and confirms suspicions that island houses bio-chemical weapons.
1970: 3,000 Okinawans participate in anti-US riot in Koza City, burning more than 80 US cars and injuring 60+ Americans.
1972: Okinawa reverts to Japanese control after Tokyo pays US$650 million to Washington in a secret agreement.
1995: Following the gang rape of an Okinawan child, Washington and Tokyo make an agreement to reduce the US military presence on Okinawa.
2012: Despite a 100,000-person rally, US stations V-22 Osprey aircraft on island.
(C) James J Alonzo
“The Beast”, we called combat, the death, the killing, the atrocities, the chaos, the terror, the reality, the fear, the ugliness, of the war in Viet Nam, “The Beast”.
The soldiers in the American Civil War called it the Elephant. That was what going into combat was called then. Please understand how young a lot of these guys were. Their youth was a factor in how they thought and spoke.
The Beast, they used to say in Vietnam, as if it was a ghost, an evil ghost that was loose, one of the demons, known in the Vietnamese language as ” Ma”. Weaving in and out of sanity or insanity, a dancing ghost, it would appear suddenly out of a whirl, shimmer for an instant, and be lost.
The troopers when they saw it, and would say without excitement, “The Beast” with emphasis on the last word, to let their buddies know that they had seen it and to be hopefully confirmed that their buddies had seen it too.
“The Beast”, was without form itself, but could assume infinite identities. It was as small as a ant and as huge as the huge black jungle canopy! It became events, it became things themselves. It had no strength of its own because it used human strength.
“The Beast”. It had no life of its own because it used human lives with abandonment! It used so many young lives, it could assume a youthful, frolicsome aspect, at the same time destroying their innocence. The Beast took lives, maimed lives!
Combat soldiers all had one thing in common, because at one time or another, we had all caught a glimpse of The Beast. The war’s infernal playful, manipulative, sadistic ghost. Some combat soldiers that experience the Beast, felt a severe coldness, chills, even though it was hot in the tropical Viet Nam. Some smelled the “rust smell” of blood, before the fighting even started, and wondered if they were smelling their own bloody death!
My personal Beast experience began on a morning of the TET offense 1968. Our company set out for convoy to Cu Chi in the “Iron Triangle”, because all Hell had broken loose, where the enemy had attack every provincial capital and base camps at the same time, and the units in Cu Chi needed ammo and supplies.
“Hey L T”, I joked, asking the lieutenant, “if we were going to Cu Chi could you put me on the next chopper out of here?” Because Cu Chi was heavy with Viet Cong, and we suffered many ambushes going to Ch Chi and Tay Ninh, so I knew we were going to catch it big time.
“Don’t worry, Alonzo,” L T responded, ” I’ll put you on a chopper in a couple of days if you are killed or wounded.” (laughing) “Besides, think of it as just another ordinary convoy, a holiday drive in the country.”
“Right!” I said as I knew the Beast was going to be out there, and he was hungry!
I knew this was not going to be a Sunday drive. We were fighting the Viet Cong, and The VC carried RPG’s (rocket propelled grenades) and AK-47′s (machine guns) and The VC shoots back!
It was no fun being shot at. The last thing I wanted was to get blown up with mines (IED) or shot up, on a Sunday drive. A Sunday drive my ass! Before the TET OFFENSIVE, driving in a convoy daily, was routine that we would come into contact with the enemy ambushes, twice or three times a week and those encounters were usually brief.
We were driving along the route through the Bo Lo Woods near the Michlin Rubber Plantation, when one of our APC’s (armored personel carriers) tracks ran over a landmine, and it blew the whole right side completely up, rendering it useless. The lieutenant said to make sure all the live ammo was put into another track, and not to leave anything behind that the VC could use against us.
The convoy commander ordered men to help get the ammunition off the track, I was standing, waiting, watching to do my part to help, when it came my turn, out of nowhere, I heard this voice say with some authority,
“I’ll do it!”
At first, I just looked at him for I could see he was a new man, but I hadnt noticed him before.
As I watched him, I noticed that he was very young looking, blonde hair, wearing new fatigues and new boots.
“Who the hell is this guy,’ I thought, ‘and where did he come from?”
I had never seen this guy before and I’d been with this unit longer than anyone. He looked like he was 16 years old to me, even though I knew he had to be 18 to be a member of this man’s army. I later found out his name was Arnold White.
As Arnold turned to leave with some of the ammunition, the LT received a call from command that they were sending a Chinook helicopter to pick up the APC. Meanwhile, a very loud ground shaking explosion rang out.
The concussion from the explosion had picked me up and threw me about five feet where I landed in the bottom of a muddy water scummy ditch, along side the roadway, that was about four feet deep. The new young soldier had stepped on a mine, and it destroyed his body from the waist down. His lower half, what was left of it was held together with torn muscle and ligaments and his tattered pants!
I finally regained my wits and as I looked up from the bottom of the crater, the lieutenant was standing there with a mad look on his face. He was trying to tell me something, and I was trying to tell him that I couldn’t hear him. My head was hurting and I had cuts and abrasions. That explosion was when the Vietnamese hit us with everything they had.
The Lt. took off running, to find radio, meanwhile J J appeared, looking down at me as he set up his M-60,
“You planning on staying down there or you going to give me your hand?”
J J hauling on me, I crawled my way up to the top of the ditch, the firefight was in full swing, machine guns and small arms on both sides firing! Meanwhile, I started looking around to see what was going on. And the first thing I saw was the new guy lying there. The medic had already checked him out and had covered him up with a poncho.
A Huey chopper came in and was trying to land, when two RPG’S went off just over their heads and they got the hell out of range! The chopper pilot circled around to his left to get out of harms way. When they had tried to land the prop blast of the chopper blew the poncho off Arnold, and I was looking him right in his eyes, eyes that blinked!
I was stunned, and couldn’t believe it, I saw him blink his eyes! I called for a medic to check him again, even though the medic tried to tell me the new guy was KIA. Once established that he was still alive! A couple of guys ran over put him on the poncho, to get him on the chopper. I saw that they needed one more to help carry the soldier around where the chopper was waiting.
The firefight still continuing, I grabbed the left side of the poncho and we took off for the chopper. As we made our way to the chopper, I was still trying to get the lower parts of his body on the poncho with my left hand so they wouldn’t drag on the ground. We finally got him into the chopper, and the chopper took off to the nearest hospital. Later the Lt. told me the soldier died about ten minutes after the chopper left with him.
As the firefight continued, The L T called in artillery which blew the VC all to hell. Soon after the artillery barrage, the fighting ended just as quickly as it started, with the VC blending back into the heavy jungle.
We regrouped, and took care of the wounded, and loaded the medivac choppers, with an additional 3 troopers KIA, and several wounded. After loading up we continued on our mission.
Shaking my head, glad that I wasn’t killed or maimed, I thought “The Beast, he was hungry today!”
The Beast; the animal is there in all of us. combat brings the intensity of life and death into full combination with the soul….. God has granted us. We are exalted and ashamed at the same moment! Such is the price we will continue to pay for all our remaining days. It shall be a chosen path, a natural decision we made as the warrior clan of our tribe.
The Beast; We see it in our blood, we find it in our faith. If the great tribe blesses us, it shall be well in our spirit. If they, (anti-war protesters-society) refused our sacrifices, the price is beyond words. No therapy or pill shall free us from our fate. so be it.
“We have seen the beast and it is us!