Sunday, October 4, 2009

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: VA Stands by Decision to Cancel Gulf War Illness Research Funding

Written by Scott K. Parks, The Dallas Morning News

(Dallas, Tex. - Sunday, October 4, 2009) - Vanessa Morton, a VA manager in charge of the Gulf War illnesses research contract with UT Southwestern Medical Center, declined to be interviewed for today's front-page story.

The Dallas Morning News asked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a credible and knowledgeable spokesperson for an interview about its position on Gulf War illnesses and why it canceled the contract with UT Southwestern.

Jessica B. Jacobsen, deputy director of the VA's regional office of public affairs, declined this request. Instead, she provided the following statement:

"Research into the illnesses suffered by Gulf War veterans as with all veterans remains a highest priority for VA. As part of our commitment to this vital effort, we must make certain that our resources are used to support the most effective and productive research.

"We stand by our decision not to exercise the third-year option with University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. VA is working with the Medical Center to capture the contractual research results. As appropriate, VA will redirect funds to support additional research into Gulf War Veterans illness especially directed to treatment."

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