Friday, June 20, 2008



Rep. Bob Filner: "This is ridiculous. These guys

were there. They all have cancer. Take care of them."

For more about "test vets," use the VA Watchdog search here...

Story here...

Story below:


Low approval rate for vets' chemical tests claims


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Veterans Affairs Department has granted only 6 percent of health claims filed by veterans of secret Cold War chemical and germ warfare tests conducted by the Pentagon, according to figures obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

Veterans advocates called the number appallingly low.

By comparison, about 88 percent of processed claims from Gulf War vets were granted as of last year, according to VA documents. More than 90 percent of processed claims from Iraq and Afghanistan vets were granted as of earlier this year.

During the tests thousands of service members were exposed, often without their knowledge, to real and simulated chemical and biological agents, including sarin and VX.

The tests were conducted at sea and above a half-dozen U.S. states from 1962-1973 to see how U.S. ships would withstand chemical and germ assaults and how such weapons would disperse.

The Defense Department says 6,440 service members took part in the experiments called Project 112 and Project SHAD, and 4,438 veterans have been notified of their participation. Others could not be located or have died.

As of May, the VA had processed 641 claims filed by veterans of the tests, many of whom are suffering from cancer, respiratory problems or other ailments.

Thirty-nine of the claims were granted, 56 were pending and 546 were denied.

AP obtained the figures from the VA on Thursday following a congressional hearing on the issue last week.

An agency spokeswoman had no immediate comment on why the rate of granting the claims was so low.

"These numbers are shocking, disgraceful and disappointing and reflect poorly on VA," said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense.

"This is ridiculous," said Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. "These guys were there. They all have cancer. Take care of them."

Filner's committee last week held a hearing on legislation by Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., that would grant coverage to project veterans without them having to prove a link between their problems and their participation in Projects SHAD/112.

The bill is patterned after legislation passed in 1991 to help people exposed to Agent Orange, the chemical defoliant used by U.S. forces in Vietnam that was linked to cancer and other ailments

Filner said he hoped to vote the bill out of his committee by July 4.

The VA and Pentagon both oppose the bill, arguing that there's no clear scientific evidence linking the Project SHAD/112 experiments to the illnesses veterans are experiencing.

The Pentagon only began to disclose details of the tests in 2001, after pressure from veterans and lawmakers. Two years later Defense officials stopped looking for additional project participants, despite criticism from the Government Accountability Office, which said untold number of veterans and civilians could remain unaware of their potential exposure.


posted by Larry Scott
Founder and Editor
VA Watchdog dot Org


There are many more veterans that were exposed to chemical weapons or biological weapons during the Cold War, SHAD/112 was but one program or many, you have Operation White Coat at Fort Detrick that ran from 1953 - 1972 and used 2100 enlisted men, then you had the chemical weapon and drug experiments at Edgewood Arsenal that ran from 1999 - 1975 and used 7120 men. These men were used in a Sarin health study in March 2003 complied by the IOM in FY2000, this study showed that 40% of the men were presumed deceased, 3098 men could not be found using IRA, VA and SS records, men aged 45 - 65 do not quit paying taxes, or drawing veterans benefits or SS disability payments. Of the 4022 survivors located, 54% of them or another 2200 men reported being disabled, yet the report never explained the cause.

There are also the many men and women who went thru Chemical weapons training or NBC training at Fort McClellan and were exposed to nerve agents or other chemical weapons during training.

DOD and the VA point to the March 2003 IOM study and say there were no oong term health effects from the low level exposures, yet DR William Page who conducted the study ignored the Jan 1994 report from the National Institute of Health on chemical weapons exposures Toxicity of the Organophosphate Chemical Warfare Agents GA, GB, and VX: Implications for Public Protection and this report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) from 1975 showing the many health conditions caused by low level CW exposure Delayed Toxic Effects of Chemical Warfare Agents

To conclude this section, the closing observations from Spiegelberg’s monograph
will be cited (these remarks do not refer exclusively to organophosphorus
CW agents) [2]:
A psychiatric delayed-effect syndrome was found as a result of systematic investigations
on former members of CW production and testing stations for the Wehrmacht. In
terms of frequency, two groups of symptoms can be distinguished–each consisting of
four separate symptoms or signs.
(1) The great majority of persons examined showed:
(a) persistently lowered vitality accompanied by marked diminution in drive;
(b) defective autonomic regulation leading to cephalalgia, gastrointestinal and
cardiovascular symptoms, and premature decline in libido and potency;
(c) intolerance symptoms (alcohol, nicotine, medicines);
(d) impression of premature aging.
(2) Further, one or more symptoms of the second group were found:
(a) depressive or subdepressive disorders of vital functions;
(b) cerebral vegetative (syncopal) attacks;
(c) slight or moderate amnestic and demential defects;
(d) slight organoneurological defects (predominantly microsymptoms and singular
signs of extrapyramidal character).
Our results are a contribution to the general question of psychopathological delayed
and permanent lesions caused by industrial poisoning. On the basis of our studies of
the etiologically different manifestations of toxication, the possibility of a relatively
uniform–though equally unspecific–cerebro-organic delayed effect syndrome is conceivable

As you can see in this study that ALL bidy systems are affected by low level exposures, so the position taken by DR Page and DOD or the VA is questionable at best.

It's time for Congress to force the VA to help these men, women and their widows.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.

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