American Legion reacts to allegations by VA whistleblower
By American Legion
Published: Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013
The leader of the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization is expressing "great concern" over allegations that the Department of Veterans Affairs has grossly mishandled the care of Gulf War Illness patients.
In testimony this week before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, several witnesses claimed that VA has consistently failed to treat the multi-symptomatic disease known as Gulf War Illness (GWI) or Gulf War Syndrome properly. Further, VA is accused of suppressing evidence of links between GWI and environmental hazards to which service members were exposed in southwest Asia.
The latter charge came from Dr. Steven Coughlin, a former senior epidemiologist at the VA's Office of Public Health. He ended his four year career with VA last December by resigning "because of serious ethical concerns."
"If the studies produce results that do not support Office of Public Health's unwritten policy, they do not release them," Coughlin told subcommittee members on Mar. 13.
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