Faithfully continuing their profitable anti-veteran campaign first begun in 1961 and reaching now into 2014, Dow and Monsanto again joined forces with the VA in June at the Institute of Medicine's C-123 Agent Orange hearing in Washington, D.C.
Their Objective: Block veterans' Agent Orange exposure claims, by preventing VA medical care and compensation for C-123 post-Vietnam veterans.
Between 1972-1982, these vets flew the Agent Orange spray airplanes for routine cargo and aeromedical evacuation missions, but the crews and maintenance workers didn't realize their aircraft remained contaminated ("heavily contaminated," according to USAF toxicologists.) In 2010, all C-123s were destroyed by the USAF as toxic waste.
Researchers Drs. John Ross and Michael Ginevan presented their error-ridden letter to VA Under Secretary Allison Hickey in January 2013. Sponsored in this disservice to veterans by Dow and Monsanto, these private-sector consultants apparently felt it inappropriate that VA provide care for the C-123 veterans' Agent Orange illnesses.
Ross and Ginevan have frequently sided with the VA and the Agent Orange manufacturers in opposing veterans' disability claims, and nothing is new here. They ignored most proofs the veterans submitted to the VA to substantiate their claims, such as the CDC and NIH findings, and twisted others in their attack.
One particularly glaring deception was their description of Patches (C-123K Tail #362) as not being representative of other Agent Orange spray aircraft. Indeed...the others were likely even more contaminated than Patches because they sprayed Agent Orange more recently than did Patches and their contamination was "fresher."
They found a way to twist another fact into a deception. Dioxin is well-known as a human carcinogen, even acknowledged as such by the VA. Ross and Ginevan attempted to mislead VA into dismissing the dangers of the dioxin remaining on the aircraft. Offered to VA was a pretense that scientists question whether dioxin actually is a carcinogen. Really? From VA's own web page;
"TCDD (the dioxin in Agent Orange) is the most toxic of the toxins, and classified as a human carcinogen by the EPA."That alone should condemn Ross and Ginevan's letter into the VA's trash heap. But it won't. They played to VA's eager ears. Dow and Monsanto were only too happy to feed VA deceptions to continue their joint defense of Agent Orange.