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This article makes the case that current Agent Orange compensation policy for Vietnam War veterans is based neither wholly upon scientific findings about Agent Orange health effects nor on pure public health policy considerations. Rather, it is the logical culmination of decades of experience among policy makers and public health scientists trying to establish clear-cut, equitable, and scientifically defensible compensation policy in the face of limited relevant science and poor or nonexistent exposure data-all within the broader context of Veterans Affairs disability compensation policies, and a deep-seated commitment to support the men and women who served their country during the Vietnam War. Finally, attempts to update current policy will benefit from an understanding of this background.


Mark A Brown. Science versus policy in establishing equitable Agent Orange disability compensation policy. Military medicine. 2011 Jul;176(7 Suppl):35-40

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PMID: 21916328

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