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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The home front: Local veterans host Oct. 25 town hall on Agent Orange

Saturday, Oct. 25, members of Asheville’s 124th chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America will be holding a Agent Orange town hall meeting.

“We will have presenters, then a kind of storytelling and testimonial session where a veteran and his family will talk about the health effects of Agent Orange,” says Allan Perkal, president of the Asheville VVA

From 1965 to 1970, the United States dumped some 13 million gallons of the dioxin-based compound on Vietnam. 

“We want to tell veterans what help’s available,” says Jack McManus, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and took part in Operation Ranch Hand: 

Mokie PorterHerb Worthington andTom Berger — all affiliated with the national office of Vietnam Veterans of America — will lead an expert panel providing an overview of the problems linked to Agent Orange exposure.

Although the fighting stopped more than 40 years ago, the damages — be they physical, psychological or spiritual — incurred during the Vietnam War continue to challenge this country today, say McManus and Perkal.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

EPA Sued by Natural Defense Council Over Enlist Duo

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was sued by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) over the approval of Enlist Duo, a Dow AgroScience product. The lawsuit was filed soon after the EPA approved the weed control product. The NRDC contends Enlist Duo will further deplete the monarch butterfly population and it is also a risk to human health.
Enlist Duo, a herbicide, contains glyphosate and 2,4-D rousing health, wildlife, and environmental concerns. 2,4-D is a known component in Agent Orange. It has been linked to life-long health conditions and severe birth defects, as well as deaths. Dow hoped to sell specialty crops along with Enlist Duo in the 2015 U.S. planting season.


US, Japan agree on access to bases following environmental incidents

Lack of acceptable protocol over environmental issues has long been a point of contention in Okinawa, the strategic island where about half of all U.S. military personnel in Japan are stationed.

Concerns rose after empty chemical drums excavated on former U.S. military property this year were suspected to contain Agent Orange, a Vietnam War-era defoliant associated with severe health hazards and birth defects. A Japanese government report found no evidence of Agent Orange or local health risk, though it did find common herbicide compounds in the soil.