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Monday, 19 November, 2007

Feds "picking and choosing" which Agent Orange-related diseases they'll cover

An organization representing victims of Agent Orange poisoning from a New Brunswick military base says the federal government is , reports the Canadian Press.

The federal government's compensation offer was released in September, but excludes residents who claim the toxic herbicide caused their high blood pressure or AL amyloidosis.

The Agent Orange Association of Canada says the government is using a list of Agent Orange-associated conditions from a by the US Institute of Medicine in order to determine the extant of their coverage, rather than an , which includes the two conditions.

"It's not morally correct," [Agent Orange Association of Canada president Ken Dobbie] said in an interview from Ottawa.

"You can't just say, 'We're going to use an older list because it contains fewer diseases.' The science is showing us these two diseases have been accepted by the Institute of Medicine and they should be on our list for ex gratia payments to veterans and civilians."

Dobbie said Ottawa is "picking and choosing" to its benefit rather than the benefit of the people they are supposed to be helping.

The evidence for a link between the conditions and Agent Orange exposure is growing stronger
and stronger as more research is done. (See ,

The , worth a total of $96 million, proposes to give $20,000 apiece to residents who have a condition associated with Agent Orange and lived or worked at or near CFB Gagetown between 1966 and 1967. The chemical was sprayed as part of an American military testing program.

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