Updated July 23- VA Sec Shinseki and Agent Orange Advocates Get Win on Expanded Agent Orange-related Illnesses, Obtain Court Order to Publish Agent Orange Presumptives Rule by

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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Update II: VA writes, “The final regulation covering claims for these [Agent Orange Presumptives]diseases will become effective later this year, and … the first use of the new [online claims] system will be limited to this subset of disabilities … .”

 Update: VA’s Response to Court : VA has discretion to implement rules, knows the Agent Orange rules are late.

Victory for VA Secretary Shinseki and Agent Orange Victim Advocates

The top administrative law court overseeing the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) has ordered VA Secretary Shinseki to publish the new Agent Orange Presumptives rule which expands the range of ailments attributed by the VA to Agent Orange exposure.

The judicial order by the D.C.-based appellate court, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, is dated July 15, 2010 and is issued in response to a writ of mandmumus (a court-ordered directive to a public body like the VA or lower court) petition (No. 949) by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and other parties.

The order is a victory for Agent Orange advocates and for Shinseki hailed as “championing funds to assist Veterans and their families affected by Agent Orange.”

The order for the publication of the rules comes weeks after the efforts of Sen. Jim Webb (D-Virgina) to delay the implementation of the new rules, an enterprise which drew the wrath of veterans around the country, and which drew the petition to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

As Chuck Palazzo wrote June 20:

Why Mr. Webb? You of all people know the struggle, the fact that this reckless chemical defoliant approach to fighting a war was wrong on the first place, you know how many died of cancer, from Agent Orange, and how many children have suffered. What of the children of Vietnam? Why after so many are gone, when there is hope, do you want to take the red marker to our lives?

There are those today with a brazen sense of greed, who seek to minimize the plight of the Vietnam Veteran and Agent Orange.

Corporate titans, Dow Chemical and Monsanto, had ridiculed the effort for expanded benefits to exposure to Agent Orange poisoning. Writes Robert L. Hanafin:

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With one face the two-faced Dow Chemical and Monsanto deny the health risk to Veterans of Agent Orange poisoning but are quick with their other face to be cautioned about the Corporate Investment Risk of future claims or lawsuits due to Agent Orange use on Guam and elsewhere outside Vietnam.

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