- Agent Orange, the herbicide used as a weapon by US military
forces in Vietnam for nearly a decade to defoliate vast stretches of inhabited
forest and jungle in an effort to deprive the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese
forces of both cover and a supportive populace, has long been known to
have caused a large number of serious and debilitating diseases, many of
them passed on to children of those exposed. But now it also appears to
cause a peculiar blindness among American journalists.
- This is demonstrably the case at the New York Times,
where a report in Saturday's edition on new Agent Orange links being found
to Parkinson's Disease and ischemic heart disease (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/health/research/25orange.html?_r=1&scp=1&
- sq=agent%20orange&st=cse) noted that it could lead
to many more Vietnam War Era veterans being eligible for disability benefits
and treatment, but completely failed to mention the significance of the
discovery for the millions of Vietnamese who were also exposed to the chemical-and
for their descendants.
- The new link was announced in a report by a 14-member
committee of the Institute of Medicine, which had been asked to determine
what conditions might be traced to exposure to the chemical that had been
"used to clear stretches of the jungle" in Vietnam. As the article
noted, since 1994, the Institute of Medicine has to date found 17 medical
conditions that can be traced to exposure to Agent Orange, "13 of
which qualify veterans for service-connected disability benefits."
- There's a lot wrong with this article, as written by
Times reporter Janie Lorber (though admittedly we can't know what is her
responsibility and what is the handiwork of the newspaper's editors)...
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