Minister of Education Reports
Agent Orange Review
Childhood Leukemia for Vets Children
People might ask why it is an issue for the back page of the church bulletin? The answer is that it is an issue that affects our membership, therefore, under Christian principles it should be something that the entire body of believers should want to know about.
Vietnam veterans will remember when they were told there was no evidence that Agent Orange use was causing any medical conditions for veterans. The way things changed was that some people refused to stop pushing for an answer. We have seen a repeat of this problem with concerns related to Gulf War vets, and the way government agencies have responded to them. This is a serious issue. But this report is primarily concerned with the ongoing saga related to Agent Orange.
A particular rare form of childhood cancer is suspected of occurring in the children of Vietnam Veterans at a rate greater than the national average. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia has been linked to the disease, by some people separate from the National Academy of Sciences, and its subordinate organization the Institute of Medicine. But the NAS and IOM say that there is "inadequate or insufficient evidence" We do not know whether the connection is real or not, what we do know is that various types of harmful chemicals do link themselves to the DNA chain.
According to the American Cancer Society about 8,600 children were diagnosed with cancers in the U.S. in 2001. Leukemias account for about one-third of all childhood cancers. Vietnam veterans are rapidly getting well past the age where they are siring children. But there were 700 cases of the AML type of leukemia last year.
Ten types of medical problems for veterans are now linked to Agent Orange exposure, and two kinds of conditions are recognized as occurring in their children. This is quite a change from those days when we were being told Agent Orange had not caused G.I.'s any harm. Soldiers go in harm's way in many ways.
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