NZ CITY NEWS, JULY 30, 2006
Veterans lobby group urges Government to consider new evidence of damage caused by Agent Orange
28 July 2006
A new study reinforces concerns about the defoliant Agent Orange for New Zealand veterans of the Vietnam War.
The Massey University report claims there is strong evidence they have suffered genetic damage as a result of exposure to harmful substances in the conflict zone.
Agent Orange – which includes the deadly, carcinogenic chemical Dioxin, was sprayed to remove leaves from trees that enemy troops hid behind.
Now the veteran’s lobby group, EVSA, wants the Government to consider this new evidence when deciding how to assist Vietnam veterans and their families.
The government is currently considering a Joint Working Group report into the concerns of vets, particularly over exposure to Agent Orange.
America’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs has accepted that exposure to Agent Orange can cause some forms of cancer, including prostate and respiratory cancers, myeloma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia; Type II diabetes and chloracne.
The serious birth defect spina bifida has also been found in the children of people exposed to the chemical, and the US Government has already passed legislation providing health care, monthly disability compensation, and vocational rehabilitation to those children.