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WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) today reiterated her support for the recognition of Agent Orange as a cause for benefits claims by American veterans. The effort also has the support of national veterans organizations.
“So many Americans served our country and were exposed to toxic substances used as weapons of war,” Emerson said. “Now, they are experiencing the effects of this exposure, we understand the connection between Agent Orange and many conditions, and we ought to get them the access to the disability benefits our veterans deserve.”
Agent Orange, an herbicide, has been linked to ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and B-cell leukemia. A Senate amendment would delay recognition of the connection 60 days so further review of the scientific basis for the findings could be conducted.
“Agent Orange claims may be expensive for our nation, but this is the debt we owe to the American servicemembers who accepted this risk in order to protect our freedoms. The science seems clear to me, the VA is satisfied, and we have veterans out there suffering with terrible afflictions. They need some relief. We ought to provide it in a timely manner,” Emerson said.