Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Agent Orange not a disease

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In his Aug. 13 letter, "Casualties of war go beyond record book entries," the letter writer refers to the "Agent Orange disease." There is no such thing. There are diseases caused by the dioxin, which was a component of Agent Orange, primarily certain kinds of cancers. But to say that there is Agent Orange disease is misleading.

From our research on this subject, we have found that very few doctors understand chemical poisoning by TCDD, the dioxin in Agent Orange, let alone being able to treat it. Unfortunately, far too much ignorance of this subject is widespread in the medical community. Doctors were not taught how to determine if a patient was suffering from dioxin poisoning and of course, there is no treatment once a person's DNA has been changed by the dioxin in Agent Orange.

Sadly, it has not been recognized that hundreds of thousands of people have been poisoned by dioxin. People in Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, near Fredericton, New Brunswick, were sprayed with dioxin from 1956 to 1984. Over one million gallons of herbicide containing dioxin were sprayed on our troops and civilians many years before Agent Orange was even sprayed on Vietnam. Agent Orange disease does not exist; there is no such thing.

Kenneth Dobbie, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

The writer is president of the Agent Orange Association of Canada.