Thursday, April 14, 2016

VA to Host Town Hall Meeting, Accept Written Comments on IOM Gulf War Recommendations

( - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will host a public town hall meeting and accept written comments regarding the most recent report of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Academy of Sciences related to Gulf War veterans.

The report, released on February 11, 2016, identified Gulf War illness as the signature adverse health outcome of the 1991 Gulf War.  However, it also included a number of recommendations that have led to publicized controversy and Congressional scrutiny, including recommending the end to several broad areas of Gulf War research.

The VA's public notice is below with details about the town hall session and instructions on how to participate by teleconference and submit written comments for the record.

The meeting will immediately follow the second day's sessions of the April 28-29, 2016 meetings of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (RAC).

The full report is available for free download (PDF) at:


[NOTE: emphasis, bolding, and colored fonts added]



ACTION: Notice of opportunity to provide oral comments at a town-hall style session, and the opportunity to provide written comments.

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces the opportunity for comment on recent recommendations made to VA by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its report “Gulf War and Health, Volume 10: Update of Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War, 2016” ( ). 

All comments are welcome, but VA specifically seeks those that address the recommendations made on pages 8-11 and pages 264-272 of the IOM report. The listening session will be open to the public, and for interested parties who cannot attend in person, there is a toll-free telephone number (800) 767-1750; access code 56978#

Participants who wish to speak during the town-hall session should register by sending an email to by April 27, 2016

Written comments must be received by June 1, 2016. Each speaker will have 5 minutes to speak. It is recommended that the speaker not read written comments, but rather highlight critical points in the written material that should be submitted.

DATE: Friday, April 29, 2016, 1:30–4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

LOCATION: The meeting will be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel, 1001 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC, in the Pan American Room.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Victor Kalasinsky, Ph.D., Telephone: (202) 443–5600,


There is an array of news articles and 91outcomes posts about the IOM report, including video footage and written testimony from a February 23, 2016 Congressional hearing, which included the IOM report as part of its critical focus:

MILITARY.COM: New Report Calls for Halt to Research on Gulf War Health Effects

BRADENTON HERALD: New study on Gulf War illness assailed by veterans advocates

FOX NEWS:  Vets fight new report that calls for halt to research on 'Gulf War Illness'

IOM Gulf War Report "Turns Science On Its Head," Researchers Say

Video and Printed Testimony - 25th Anniversary Gulf War Health Congressional Hearing 

Persian Gulf War: An Assessment of Health Outcomes on the 25th Anniversary

BUSPH NEWS: Researcher Urges Congress: Don’t Give Up on Gulf War Vets

Some Key Quotes from IOM's "Gulf War and Health, Volume 10"

MILITARY TIMES:  Panel to VA: Stop studying causes of Gulf War illnesses, focus on treatment

MILITARY TIMES: Persian Gulf veterans still fighting for proper health care 25 years after war

IOM: New report finds illness continues to be major effect linked to Gulf War military service

BUSPH: Professor Argues Gulf War Vets Are Counting on Researchers

ALS Link to Veterans of Persian Gulf War Suggested Again in US Government Report

MILITARY TIMES:  Panel to VA: Stop studying causes of Gulf War illnesses

IOM: New report finds illness continues to be major effect linked to Gulf War military service

Public Session Tomorrow: IOM Gulf War and Health Rewrite Committee

Letter to IOM from former RAC Chair and Members

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