Agent Orange report to be used at U.S. court
Thanks to a Khe Sanh marine colonel for sending this in.
It is a shame and national travesty our own "U.S. News Agencies will not support our Veterans against our government the same way as shown below in New Zealand papers. Just like our politicians the news agencies and reporters lie when they say "they support Veterans."
Being an equal opportunity investigator anyone have anything in our news media on this report of DNA damage that we have been saying all along for over forty years. If so please send it in and I will post it.
How about any mention of this from "any" I say again "any" of our so called supportive politicians in our congress. Or how about our White House that denied all this for almost a half century now.
I will post any response here but I doubt if "any politician" will step up to the plate as they have been dealing in collaboration for over 40 years.
Agent Orange report to be used at US court
SUNDAY , 06 AUGUST 2006
By Kristian South
The Sunday News investigation into the effects of Agent Orange on our
Vietnam War veterans will be used as evidence in a high-profile American
Constantine Kokkoris, a lawyer bringing a class action against the US
government on behalf of a group of Vietnamese allegedly affected by the
defoliant, plans to present our inquiry to the US Court of Appeals when the
case is heard in October.
Kokkoris would alert the judge to test results we revealed showing genetic
damage in New Zealand troops from exposure to Agent Orange - used to clear
foliage used as cover by the Vietcong.
"It's great work that you have uncovered this," Kokkoris said. "I saw your
article and I got a copy of the report and it is very exciting and is a very
Last month, Sunday News revealed how tests done at Massey University showed
Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange had suffered significant DNA
damage. Kokkoris said Sunday News had found the missing piece of evidence
for his lawsuit.
"We went before the federal court and the case was dismissed on legal
grounds, but the judge also said that we would have to go a long way to
proving the ill health effects," Kokkoris said.
"What you have discovered does this and I think it will help our legal
argument go a long way to show the judges that there is this established
"What these test results show is that not only are the people exposed to
Agent Orange likely to get sick, but their children and their children's
Kokkoris is representing 26 Vietnamese alleged victims of Agent Orange, who
have suffered serious health effects. If the Court of Appeal rules in favour
of the claimants, Kokkoris said he would have grounds to bring a class
action for more than one million victims.
"I want to thank you for your involvement. I think it has been very
important the work done by your newspaper and in New Zealand on a whole.
It's been 30 years since the use of Agent Orange.
"Most scientists say there is no proof it causes any ill health affects but
you have a group of NZ scientists who blew that theory out of the water,"
Vietnam Veteran's plea over DNA damage
SUNDAY , 30 JULY 2006
By KRISTIAN SOUTH
Vietnam veteran Dave Orbell has spoken of his family's anguish as a result
of exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.
The retired Victor Three Company soldier was involved in testing at Massey
University, which conclusively proves Kiwi soldiers serving in the bloody
conflict 35 years ago have been genetically damaged.
The damage was shown to be so significant it would pass through generations,
causing widespread disease and illness including cancer and spina bifida.
Dave's test results showed his DNA damage from Agent Orange was among the
highest in the test group of 24 veterans.
The 59-year-old Palmerston North war pensioner told Sunday News a question
mark now hung over the future of his children and whether they would
continue his bloodline.
"I would know that my offspring would take on board my findings in
consideration of any decision they might make in terms of child-rearing and
child birth," Dave said.
"But I hope that they would go forward and have children, because life is
like a game of Russian Roulette - we don't know the odds one way or the
Dave's daughter Victoria Orbell, 30, said she needed time to consider what
the DNA damage found in her father meant to her.
But she wanted to be tested herself, before making a decision on having
"If I couldn't get some sort of financial funding from the various services
then I would probably pay the money and get tested," she said.
"I need to know personally that there was no air of uncertainty."
Both Dave and Victoria said the government had a duty to ensure veterans and
their families knew what to expect in future generations.
"It's a decision based on knowing and not knowing," Dave said.
"One would hope the government would put in place the mechanisms for
children wishing to know their fate, to have access to that sort of
information that they were seeking to gain before making a decision.
"I don't think that's an unfair expectation."
The Orbell family's call for further testing was backed up by a report by
Louise Edwards - a Massey University student who ordered the DNA tests for
her Masters thesis.
"The convincing results suggest that a similar scientific investigation of
the children of these veterans be conducted using other assays," Edwards
wrote in her report.
Defence minister Phil Goff and Veterans' Affairs minister Rick Barker said
they had yet to receive a copy of Edwards' report.
But they said her findings would be taken into consideration.
"The government is open to new information and analysis which gives us
insight into health effects of being exposed to a toxic environment in
Vietnam," the ministers said in a joint press release.
"We welcome further work which adds to our knowledge of the effects of Agent
Orange and adds to the international research we are relying on."
Last week Sunday News revealed the details of Edwards' report and Massey
University's reluctance to release her findings.
We told how the genetic damage found in Vietnam veterans was worse than that
of Kiwi servicemen who witnessed nuclear testing in the 1950s.
Our story made international headlines and on Friday, Massey University
publicly released Edwards' report.
We also told how the delay in releasing the damning test results meant they
were not included in the Agent Orange Joint Working Group report, looking at
compensation claims for the veterans.
Dave said the tests had been conducted in such a way that the government had
no choice but to take them as a factor when deciding on compensation for
"It will be difficult for them to discredit the findings because the
preparation of the tests was such that it eliminates the questioning of the
"It clearly and emphatically indicates to government that what the veteran
community has been saying has been happening is a fact."
Victory for Vets
30 July 2006
Sunday News was last night praised by the Vietnam veteran community for our
coverage of the Agent Orange saga.
"Sunday News has refused to let this story die and hopefully the veterans
and their families will get justice," Ex-Vietnam Veterans Association
president John Moller said.
"It's a brilliant bit of investigative journalism that will have a profound
affect on Vietnam veterans globally.
"I'm sure the significance of the study will not be lost at an international
genetics conference in Sweden next month."
For the past 18 months Sunday News has broken exclusive stories, regarding
the appalling treatment of our Vietnam veterans by the New Zealand
In January last year, we told how Agent Orange - a chemical concoction used
in the Vietnam War used to strip the leaves from trees - was supplied by the
Weeks later, Helen Clark ordered a report into veterans' compensation but in
March this year, Sunday News told how the information in that report would
be embargoed for 30 years.
We also told how the government may have been aware of the harmful effects
of Agent Orange in the early 1980s - and removed that evidence from
soldiers' medical files.
Last week, we ended our investigation with news of test results showing
veterans had been left with significant DNA damage.
On Friday, our story was confirmed by a report, detailing the damage. That
report -written by Massey University masters student Louise Edwards - made
the following recommendations to the government:
The results warrant a larger study of Vietnam veterans, with a minimum
sample size of 50 veterans and 50 non-veterans.
Similar scientific investigation into the damage of veterans' children.
Agent Orange horror that will never die
23 July 2006
By KRISTIAN SOUTH
New Zealand's heroic soldiers who served in the Vietnam War were betrayed by
the "friendly fire" of Agent Orange poisoning, which has doomed them for
A Sunday News investigation has uncovered medical tests which show
defoliant-linked genetic damage to up to 3500 Kiwi vets, is three times
worse than that of New Zealand navy sailors exposed to nuclear testing.
The DNA damage is suspected to be so bad it could affect multiple
generations with cancer, spina bifida and a host of other genetic diseases.
But the results of the Massey University tests have been kept under wraps
since they were taken last October, with scientists at the university saying
they cannot release the report until an embargo is lifted.
In that time, dozens of veterans have died without knowing how future
generations will be affected by their chemical poisoning during the 1960s
Agent Orange was used to kill foliage which provided cover for the Viet Cong
- but also destroyed the health of American troops and their allies.
Documents obtained by Sunday News show 24 veterans' and a control group of 23
non-veterans' blood was tested by sister chromotid exchange, used to detect
genetic damage caused by an environmental agent.
The study was carried out by Molecular BioScience masters student Louise
Edwards under the guidance of top Kiwi scientist Dr Al Rowland.
Analysis of results found horrendous genetic damage.
The vets' exposure to Agent Orange had harmed their DNA three times worse
than the effects of nuclear testing on Kiwi sailors who were used as
eye-witnesses during Operation Grapple in the late 1950s.
Rowland also oversaw the testing of the Operation Grapple seamen and last
September said those tests had found long-term genetic damage caused by
exposure to the nuclear tests at Christmas Island and the Malden Islands.
Sunday News has discovered four copies of Edwards' thesis on DNA damage in
the Vietnam veterans were distributed throughout Massey University. But a
search earlier this week could find no trace of any copies.
Edwards told Sunday News she was unable to comment on her thesis.
"It has been embargoed until early next year," she said.
Rowland also declined to comment, saying he hadn't been instructed to talk
to media. Asked why the embargo had been placed on Edwards' report, he said:
"I can't possibly comment on that."
Massey University spokesman James Gardiner said the report had been
embargoed because the university had a duty to notify tested veterans of the
results before releasing them.
The embargo meant they were not included in a report - the Agent Orange
Joint Working Group Report - ordered by the government to look at
compensation for the Vietnam vets.
Defence minister Phil Goff yesterday told Sunday News the government was
aware of the test results but had yet to receive a copy.
"I can't comment on a report that hasn't been formally delivered until we've
had a chance to analyse it," Goff said.
"But obviously, we'll look closely at this report to see what it has to
When asked if the test results should have been included in the Agent Orange
Joint Working Group Report, Goff replied, "I'm not sure how much difference
it will make.
"We have accepted that the National Academy of Science in the United States
has demonstrated a link between Agent Orange and health problems suffered by
"That hasn't been accepted in the past but we now do accept that."
Sunday News' revelations have sparked calls from angry opposition MPs for
the government to demand the release of the test results.
"How many more hundreds of veterans have to die before the Government
finally tells them how much damage to themselves, their children and their
grandchildren has been done?" National Party veteran affairs spokeswoman
Judith Collins asked Sunday News.
ACT leader Rodney Hide said: "These findings should be made immediately
available. This whole issue has been hushed, covered up and destroyed for
New Zealand First defence spokesman Ron Mark said the test results were "a
"Service personnel who were deployed to Vietnam were harmed. They were
genetically, irreparably harmed and that has been passed on to their
children and will forever be carried by their families," he said.
"The question now is, what are we going to do about it?"