By Dawn Loughborough
“What’s past is prologue.”
Autism prevalence is 1 in 50 in the U.S. How is the Agent Orange health compensation fiasco for Veterans the same as Vaccine Safety and Autism? Thousands of Viet Nam Veterans exposed to the chemical Agent Orange were denied compensation, there was an obstruction of justice, and it took a directive from Congress to fix it over the course of 30 years.
Congress issued a directive for federal agency vaccine safety studies including baseline studies to show exposure and health outcomes (VICA Section 27). In a rising autism epidemic, unfettered science and detailed analysis hold promise for answers, but data is far from available and the process for collection and access to de-identified data remains stymied.
And according to information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, obstructions of justice that may have denied thousands of vaccine injured children with Autism compensation in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program appears to have been revealed through malfeasance in CDC science studies, possible destruction of early 1990’s government studies showing mercury issues, alleged removal of unvaccinated children from the data sources making it harder to perform vaccinated v unvaccinated studies, and barred transparency to the Vaccine Safety Datalink for independent research.
Chairman Issa of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, currently conducting the complex Benghazi investigation, says that when a plane crashes, investigators produce crash reports that record the tiniest details and put together the pieces to explain what happened. The public desires that same “crash report” approach for children’s health epidemics.
But Coleen Boyle, a director of the CDC department involved in childhood developmental
disabilities and autism prevalence studies has down played Autism as an epidemic and the science-related vaccine concerns in her congressional testimonies. Autism prevalence has not been reported in terms of categories of autisms. It is unknown, for example, how many children developed normally and then regressed into Autism and following what exposures.
In reviewing prevalence counting and exposure concerns, the Viet Nam Veteran presents a historical context for the living history families are experiencing as part of the Autism Epidemic. How is Autism like Agent Orange? Here is the story.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 1983 became responsible for the prevalence counting for Viet Nam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, a jungle defoliant chemical, made by Monsanto and Dow chemical companies, associated with causing complex multi-system diseases.
Viet Nam Veterans were denied acknowledgment of and compensation for debilitating illnesses after they were exposed to Agent Orange in the jungles of Viet Nam. In fact, it was not until an Admiral Zumwalt testified via classified hearings in Congress in 1990 that Veterans started to see scientific studies confirming their illnesses and compensation relief from the health outcome atrocities they experienced through exposure to this chemical.
Agent Orange exposure was considered harmless by the government, and the burden lay with veterans who had to prove that there were chemical exposure health related illnesses. And then, after proving relationship in causation, the government produced studies that further denied claims of injured Veterans, thereby protecting the chemical companies. Denial was based upon coincidence, but it turns out there were those who knew about the dangers of Agent Orange as early as 1964:
“DA NANG, Vietnam — James R. Clary was a young Air Force officer and scientist who designed the spray tank for the C-123 cargo planes that dispensed Agent Orange and other herbicides during the Vietnam War.
Thirteen years after the conflict ended, with serious concerns being raised in Congress about the effects of defoliants on veterans’ health, Clary dropped a startling bombshell: Military scientists had known that herbicides shipped to Vietnam were contaminated with dioxin and had “the potential for damage” to human health.
“However, because the material was to be used on the ‘enemy,’ none of us were overly concerned,” Clary wrote to then-Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. “We never considered a scenario in which our own personnel would become contaminated with the herbicide.”
Full story here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/22/197316/makers-of-agent-orange-followed.html#.Ue4MRY0sm0c
Similar to what parents are told after they witness their children’s regression into Autism following vaccine exposure, Viet Nam Veterans were denied answers. Having mystery around potential causes has obstructed medical treatment innovation, compensation, and justice to both soldiers and now children who are victims of the war on infectious disease.
The CDC was asked to report on prevalence numbers. The process the CDC went through was to determine who had been exposed and when. Later these studies were used to determine those who would be compensated for health related issues caused by exposure to Agent Orange.