“Every medical and scientific fact convincing the Institute of Medicine of our Agent Orange exposures had been presented years earlier to the VA but was simply ignored or dismissed. That was wrong.”
Written by Carey Wedler. Published 6-22-15 in AntiMedia.
Leaking Agent Orange drums in Vietnam. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Decades after the Vietnam War, the Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledged this week that Monsanto’s Agent Orange—a dangerous herbicide sprayed over 4.5 million acres across Vietnam during the conflict—is responsible for health ailments in a group of as many as 2,100 veterans. It had previously denied such allegations.
The United States government will pay out $45 million in disability benefits over ten years to compensate Air Force reservists and active-duty forces who were exposed to Agent Orange left over from the Vietnam War. The exposure came from residue on Fairchild C-123 aircraft, which were used to spray millions of gallons of the chemical, and, evidently, affected soldiers in the United States who later handled the planes from 1969-1986. According to ABC, the VA’s decision to compensate the 2,100 veterans follows a January Institute of Medicine study that found “some C-123 reservists stationed in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had been exposed to Agent Orange residues in the planes and suffered higher risks of health problems as a result.”
Further, “the VA said it subsequently determined that pilots, mechanics and medical personnel who served at seven other locations in the U.S. and abroad also were potentially affected – Florida, Virginia, and Arizona, as well as Taiwan, Panama, South Korea and the Philippines.” Continue reading