Monday, July 11, 2005

Agent Orange, diabetes, madness

Agent Orange was the herbicide broadcast sprayed in Vietnam in an effort to deny enemy combatants jungle cover. It was contaminated with the highly potent dioxin congener, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD) which has been implicated in birth defects and cancer. And type II (adult onset) diabetes in American veterans of that war. In 1997, data suggested that diabetes might be a result of exposure as well. This has been confirmed (again) in a study to be released this week by the US Air Force.

In brief communiques from Agency France Presse (AFP) and CNN we learn the Pentagon will announce this week results from a physical examination of 1,951 veterans done in 2002 that shows a 166% increase in insulin-dependent adult onset diabetes in the highest exposure group. (Given the penchant of the MSM to get these things wrong, this could also be a 66% increase, i.e., an odds ratio of 1.66, not 2.66. We await the paper to find out). The subjects were "Operation Ranch Hand" personnel who handled, loaded and went on the spray missions between 1962 and 1971. Type II diabetes is characterized both by relative lack of insulin secretion and also resistance to the effects of the insulin that is secreted. It is a major risk factor for death from heart disease.

So this war continues to kill Americans, just as the current one in Iraq will scar and kill soldiers for generations to come. Add that to the cost of $177 million dollars a day.

Of course we are saving money by refusing to compensate the Vietnamese, who bore the full brunt of our madness.