VA Disputes Findings on Proposed Agent Orange Diseases

Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have argued a scientific panel’s findings and are now under pressure from lawmakers to decide whether or not to add four diseases to the list of Agent Orange-related conditions. The decision is not expected until later this year.

According to an article published by, the VA “will wait for additional research to conclude before making what could be a $15.2 billion decision. In a report sent to the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees on Monday, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said VA experts “noted significant concerns and limitations” with several National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, or NASEM, reports concluding that there is suggestive or sufficient evidence linking development of bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s-like tremors, and hypertension to exposure to herbicides for defoliation in the Vietnam War.”

Secretary Robert Wilkie continued by saying that the NASEM did not sufficiently outline and identify any concrete connections between Agent Orange and the diseases. He also stated that hypertension and bladder cancer can be caused by other factors that do not include herbicide exposure (such as age, diet, and tobacco use).

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability