Sunday, May 18, 2008

US congressmen confirm AO effects

US congressmen confirm AO effects


WASHINGTON — United States congressmen have confirmed that the deadly defoliant Agent Orange had affected both US troops and Vietnamese people. Because of this, it said that "the victims of the toxic chemical should be compensated and supported".

The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment convened a hearing on Agent Orange (AO) in Washington on May 15.

The hearing, entitled "Our forgotten responsibility: What can we do to help victims of Agent Orange," was co-chaired by chairman of the subcommittee, Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, and vice chairman of the committee, Congressman Manzullo.

Representatives from the US Department of State and non-governmental organisations, together with scientists, lawyers and American war veterans attended the hearing.

US congressmen spoke of the US Army use of Agent Orange during the American War in Viet Nam and the serious effects the toxic chemical had on human beings and the environment.

Congressmen said that many nations such as Japan , Germany and Iraq were provided with millions of US dollars in aid to help victims after wars, including those affected by chemical weapons and other toxic chemicals, hence AO victims should be compensated in the same manner.

However, the US Government and chemical producers in the US continued to deny responsibility for AO victims, the congress noted.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, former Vice Chairman of the National Assembly and former Director of the Tu Du Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Viet Nam, said the subcommittee’s first-ever hearing would provide the Congress and the public with an insight into the challenges faced by AO victims.

Phuong, who is a member of the Viet Nam-US dialogue group on AO/dioxin, hoped that the US Congress support would create more effective ways to help AO victims in both Viet Nam and the US.

She said the Government of Vietnam had doled out more than $50 million each year to support AO victims as well as millions for environmental restoration projects, including the planting of salt-marsh forests. In addition, social organisations and the public had actively contributed to activities and campaigns to assist AO victims.

the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Scot Marciel, said the US Government would continue pursuing constructive measures to co-ordinate with the Government of Viet Nam and other partners in dealing with AO related issues.

Representatives from the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Vietnam Veterans of America all called on the US Government and companies which supplied AO to the US troops during the Viet Nam war to take responsibility for AO victims. — VNS
US congressmen confirm AO effects

The Vietnam War ended in 1975 officially, it has now been 33 years and their are still children being affected by the toxic soup we dumped on Vietnam in the 60s and 70s, regardless if the chemical companies made it under contract for the military, we have responsibility for the damage we left in it's wake, I read a German medical study written in 1974 and it mentions the toxic mess being used in South east asia by the US Government and the doctor was wondering how many kinds of cancer and other medical problems would be borne out of this chemical usage. Turns out he was right and yet our nation refuses to admit liability. By the way the Doctor that wrote that statement was the German doctor in charge of treating the Wermacht soldiers from WW2 that had been used in the 3rd Reich's chemical weapons program, the German government was medicaly and financially taking care of the people harmed by exposures in their war programs. The Doctors name was Karl Heinz Lohs

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