More Reports Government Study was and still is FLAWED.

 

Now as you read this I want you to recall what we have been discussing the last two years and some of it much longer than that.

 

In my, book those that read it, I slammed this so-called study in many ways in Chapter 5.  Most of it, when you actually read the transcripts recorded, many medical issues found were not reported in the published reports.  Including cancers not associated then and still not associated by the VA's best buddy and the Veterans worst enemy; the totally biased IOM

 

Statements were made as to some cancers being on the low - end of significant; yet, these were not brought forward.  Now we found the protocols for cohort evaluation were diluted, more than likely on purpose, to dilute the findings.  So even a low - end of significant could certainly have been highly significant if the statistics were not slanted by the Air Force and concluding medical statements changed by the Air Force.  Oh, I forgot you are not supposed to say "changed" but as scientists on the Ranch Hand study concluded instead of changed lets just use "Air Force Airbrushed" as if that makes a difference. Everyone laugh at that because the scientists in the meeting sure got a big damn chuckle out of it.

 

Now we see that my hero Ranch Hand scientists Dr. Trewyn is also concluding that any cancers are probably associated.

 

This is backed up by many other studies that show the difference between a specific cancer and all cancer sites is minimal.

 

Now if we have any cancers or even the ones that the IOM has admitted then why cannot we have any autoimmune disorders at all.  Such as chronic debilitating autoimmune disorders in endocrine, blood disorders (gammopathy), neurological damages (CNS & PNS), bone mass disorders, lung disorders (COPD), cardiovascular and vascular disease disorders as well as other forms of leukemia especially AML and caused by a damaged immune system.

 

The above question becomes even more germane when one considers that the rest of the scientific world has concluded that immunotoxicity thresholds are at least 50 times less than that of a cancer and some have suggested 100 times less.  Then how can science (IOM) now then say that only cancers are associated to dioxin exposures in our Vietnam Veterans?

 

WHY?  Because this study is and has been flawed from the first modified report that did not reflect the scientific draft findings by the scientists.  I would not say they were changed that is not allowed - only Air Force Airbrushed.

 

And oh by the way this so called study is used by the rest of the worlds government as a crutch and excuse to also deny their veterans any compensations for this killer toxic chemical.  Yea, we did what the United States Government is doing and the NAS/IOM - all of it US Government BS.

 

Not only that but when Dr. Schwartz of Yale University was asked in oversight if she thought this study was being used as some sort of gold standard for dioxin exposures her answer was YES!  She did not agree with it only that it is being used as gold standard.

 

We have to do something to make our congress listen.  What that is I guess I do not know.  "Lord Knows" I have tried to present this travesty of a study to our politicians in pointing out the flaws and what other studies have shown and have failed at getting any DC response other than - that is just the way it is because we make all the rules and you Veterans are nothing but a pain in the butt.  I have tried to point it out to the national media who also could give a crap less as our government allows Veterans to die from government caused actions and decisions.

 

This now seems to point to some legal action required against the Department of Veterans Affairs.  As a very minimum, all work done and decisions by the NAS/IOM, who clearly have publicly stated while they review other studies their primary data points is and was the Ranch Hand study, should be reviewed by an independent panel with the what most would say is new evidence.  While it is not since I pointed this scientific misconduct government travesty out two years ago with direct quotes from the scientists themselves.  Including our national media which did not even reply to the data and references I submitted.

 

Maybe after the midterms we can plan a political attack or something to get someone to listen.  I say this because if the dems gain control then the heads of the VAC will change.  Not that it makes any difference in my opinion to Veterans politically but we will have a central contact point.

 

I still say, as a segment of society in the millions, we have to go after the Senate and House VAC.  That would  focus on the target and those that are up in 2008 if they do not listen and address the issues  - will not be there any longer and we have to make sure of that state by state.

 

The old saying "It is the economy stupid."

 

Well in Dioxins -  It is the damaging processes created stupid - not the exponential ICD outcomes.

 

 

See Below article sent in by VVA

 

Agent Orange cancer findings won't get in report, Air Force says
Study's chairman raises questions about decision to leave data out

Published: Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 6:00 am
       
By Clark Brooks
STAFF WRITER

 

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Cancer findings described as potentially significant by the chairman of an advisory committee won't be in the final report of a 25-year government study of the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans.

 

The $140 million study of airmen who sprayed herbicides in a series of missions called Operation Ranch Hand was designed to be used as a basis for compensation for thousands of veterans. It ends Sept. 30.

 

The analysis showed a doubling in cancer rates among the highest-exposed veterans, according to information submitted to the advisory committee.

 

The Air Force has no plans to publish the new cancer findings in any Air Force report or scientific journal, Col. Karen Fox told the civilian advisory committee during a meeting in Maryland in response to spirited and sustained questioning during the panel's final meeting Thursday. 

                    

Fox said the Air Force instructed the scientist who conducted the analysis to destroy the data.

Michael Stoto, committee chairman and a professor at Georgetown University, said the new analysis included "some interesting and potentially important findings" about the health of airmen involved in herbicide spraying missions during the Vietnam War.

 

"Frankly," Stoto said at one point in the hearing, "when it shows a significant finding and it seems to have been suppressed, that doesn't add credit to the study." However, Stoto said later in the hearing he perhaps should not have used the word "suppressed."

 

In an interview during a break in the meeting, Stoto said the discussion was triggered by questions The Greenville News posed to him about the status of the unpublished data the week before the meeting.

The U.S. military sprayed 18 million gallons of herbicides over 3.6 million acres of South Vietnam from 1962 to 1971 to destroy enemy crops and hiding places and to clear areas for American base camps. The majority of it was Agent Orange, which contained cancer-causing dioxin.

 

Agent Orange and other herbicides, some of which also were tainted with dioxin, were named for the color of the stripe around their 55-gallon storage drums.

 

Sapp Funderburk, an Air Force veteran who lives in Taylors, recalls loading orangeiped drums on aircraft in 1969 when he was an air freight sergeant in charge of special handling at Phu Cat Air Base.

"They told us they were Agent Orange, so wear these gloves," he said. "They were big, heavy rubber gloves like you see in a science fiction movie."

 

Funderburk, who was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx in December 2001, said that in the tropical heat and humidity, the instant he lowered his hands, the gloves slid off.

 

He had to unscrew a plug to open a hole to relieve the pressure in the drums, he said, and Agent Orange sloshed over him.

 

Veterans complaining of health problems they said were caused by Agent Orange began filing claims in the late 1970s, and Congress funded the Ranch Hand study to investigate the health effects of herbicides. The study, also known as the Air Force Health Study, began in 1982.

 

Although the study is ending for the Air Force, the Institute of Medicine wants the government to preserve the data sets and frozen biological specimens of about 1,000 Ranch Hand veterans and 2,000 comparison airmen who did not spray herbicides.

 

A recent IOM report said the materials are valuable and should be studied further. Legislation pending in Congress would turn everything over to the IOM's Medical Follow-up Agency, which would collaborate on analyses with other scientists and research centers.

 

The Air Force scientists never reported significant incidences of cancer in any of the study's periodic reports on the participants, who were examined every three to five years.

 

Nor has the Ranch Hand data ever yielded a finding of cancer increasing with dioxin exposure until the new analysis that was the topic of discussion at last week's advisory committee meeting.

 

That analysis showed a doubling of cancer among Ranch Hand veterans who have the highest blood-serum levels of dioxin. Committee members were aware of the findings because the work was done by Joel Michalek, a civilian scientist with the Ranch Hand study from the beginning and its principal investigator for 14 years.

 

Stoto said in an interview the week before the meeting that the cancer analysis, which Michalek presented to the advisory committee in a June 2005 meeting, "really needs to be published."

 

Michalek's data analysis, as detailed on slides presented at that meeting, shows cancer increasing with dioxin exposure. A separate analysis showed a stronger diabetes finding among Ranch Hand veterans than previously, Michalek said. Ranch Hand scientists reported a significant risk of diabetes among exposed veterans seven years ago.

 

Michalek, who did not attend the meeting, told The Greenville News he did the analyses before he left the Air Force in May 2005 for a job as a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He said he wants to use a similar approach to examine a variety of other health outcomes in the Ranch Hand group.

 

In his cancer analysis, Michalek said he took into consideration that there were intervals during the war when no spraying was done, and that Agent Orange and other herbicides may have been more heavily contaminated with dioxin earlier in the war.

 

Fox, who succeeded Michalek as principal investigator, told the advisory committee she had doubts about his analyses.

 

"I don't think there was a hypothesis before he started crunching the data," she said.

Michalek disagrees.

 

"We tried to question all of our assumptions and incorporate external information about the war to once again test the underlying hypothesis that exposure to Agent Orange may be related to the risk of cancer," he said. "I hope the new custodian will find a way to give other researchers access to the study material so these methods and results can be peer-reviewed."

 

Fox, responding to questions from the advisory committee, said that in spite of her misgivings about Michalek's analyses, the Air Force tried to work with him on the cancer and diabetes papers after he left, but Michalek didn't follow through.

 

"We tried to enter into a relationship with him for him to write those papers," Fox said. "He did not do that."

 

Michalek said he negotiated with Maurice Owens, a project manager for Science Applications International Corp., which is under contract to do data analysis for Ranch Hand study reports. Owens, who attended the advisory committee meeting last week, told The Greenville News that SAIC decided working with Michalek would be a conflict of interest because he had been a scientist for the Air Force.

 

Michalek said he has since done as ordered and deleted the Ranch Hand data that was in his possession.

 

Fox declined to be interviewed during breaks in the meeting.

 

Ron Trewyn, a biochemist and member of the Ranch Hand study advisory committee, said during the meeting that if Michalek had left one university for another, he would have been able to complete unfinished research papers. He asked Fox why Michalek couldn't do that for the Air Force.

 

The scientist is "more than welcome" to talk to whatever entity winds up as custodian of the data and specimens, Fox said.

 

Trewyn, a Vietnam veteran, said in an interview that getting the new cancer analysis published is important to veterans who are not yet being compensated for cancers and other illnesses related to their service in Vietnam.

 

The Agent Orange Act of 1991 established a compensation list. The first entries were non-Hodgkins lymphoma, soft-tissue sarcoma and chloracne, a skin condition. The act also authorized the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate medical and scientific data about the health effects of dioxin exposure from a host of studies, mostly in the civilian population.

 

Based on NAS research, the Department of Veterans Affairs has added nine diseases, among them diabetes and respiratory cancers, which include cancer of the larynx. Prostate cancer and multiple myeloma are also on the list.

 

Among those the NAS is studying that have not yet made the list are bone cancer, melanoma, testicular cancer, urinary bladder cancer, breast cancer and most leukemias.

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs no longer keeps statistics on Agent Orange claims because of variables such as veterans applying for more than one type of compensation per claim, said Jim Benson, a VA spokesman.

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in 1998 that 92,276 Agent Orange claims had been filed by veterans and their survivors, and 5,908 of them had been approved.

 

Funderburk, the Taylors veteran, receives compensation in the form of monthly checks from the VA. But he thinks it's unfair that thousands of other Vietnam veterans with cancer are not getting help.

 

Trewyn, vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school at Kansas State University, said cancers caused by exposures in Vietnam could show up anywhere.

 

"Some people are going to be susceptible to one type of cancer versus another," he said. "Having done research on cancer, it doesn't surprise me at all that you find this at a whole host of different sites."

 

Or, as Funderburk put it, "To me, cancer is cancer is cancer."