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GULF WAR VETERANS' ILLNESSES: THE RESEARCH

AGENDA

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Printed for the use of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE DEPOSITORY
49-511 CC
WASHINGTON : 1998

AUG 18 1998
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, Dic 2040 University
ISBN 0-16-057235-5

Jonsson Library

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DAN BURTON, Indiana, Chairman BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York

HENRY A. WAXMAN, California J DENNIS HISTERT, Illinois

TOM LANTOS, California CONSTANCEA MORELLA, Maryland ROBERT E. WISE, JR., West Virginia CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut

MAJOR R. OWENS, New York STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico

EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York CHRISTOPHER COX, California

PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida

GARY A. CONDIT, California JOHN M. MCHUGH, New York

CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York STEPHEN HORN, California

THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin JOHN L. MICA, Florida

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, Washington, THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia

DC DAVID M. MCINTOSH, Indiana

CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana

ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida

DENNIS J. KUCINICH, Ohio JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona

ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois STEVEN C. LATOURETTE, Ohio

DANNY K. DAVIS, Illinois MARSHALL “MARK” SANFORD, South JOHN F. TIERNEY, Massachusetts Carolina

JIM TURNER, Texas JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire

THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine
PETE SESSIONS, Texas

HAROLD E. FORD, JR., Tennessee
MICHAEL PAPPAS, New Jersey
VINCE SNOWBARGER, Kansas

BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont
BOB BARR, Georgia

(Independent) DAN MILLER, Florida

KEVIN BINGER, Staff Director

DANIEL R. MOLL, Deputy Staff Director
WILLIAM MOSCHELLA, Deputy Counsel and Parliamentarian

JUDITH McCoy, Chief Clerk
PHIL SCHILIRO, Minority Staff Director

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES

CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut, Chairman VINCE SNOWBARGER, Kansas

EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York

THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine DAVID M. MCINTOSH, Indiana

TOM LANTOS, California MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana

BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont (Ind.) MICHAEL PAPPAS, New Jersey

THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico

DENNIS J. KUCINICH, Ohio

Ex OFFICIO

DAN BURTON, Indiana

HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
LAWRENCE J. HALLORAN, Staff Director and Counsel
ROBERT A. NEWMAN, Professional Staff Member

R. JARED CARPENTER, Clerk
CHERRI BRANSON, Minority Counsel

(II)

CONTENTS

Page

1

Hearing held on February 24, 1998

Statement of:

Feussner, John, M.D., Chief Research and Development Officer, Depart-

ment of Veterans Affairs, accompanied by Timothy Gerrity, Special

Assistant to the Chief Research and Development Officer; Anna John-

son-Winegar, Director, Environmental and Life Sciences, Department

of Defense; Drue H. Barrett, Ph.D., Division of Environmental Hazards

and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Public Health Service; and

Sheila Newton, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences,

Department of Health and Human Services

Heivilin, Donna, Ph.D., Director, Planning and Reporting, General Ac-

counting Office, accompanied by Kwai-Cheung Chan, Director, Special

Studies and Evaluation, General Accounting Office, and Sushil

Sharma, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Special Studies and Evaluation,

General Accounting Office; Robert Haley, M.D., director, Epidemiology

and Scientific Graphics Laboratory, University of Texas Southwestern

Medical Center; Daniel Clauw, M.D., chief of rheumatology, George-

town University School of Medicine; and William Reeves, M.D., Branch

Chief, Viral Exanthems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Letters, statements, etc., submitted for the record by:

Barrett, Drue H., Ph.D., Division of Environmental Hazards and Health

Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention, U.S. Public Health Service, prepared state-

ment of

Clauw, Daniel, M.D., chief of rheumatology, Georgetown University

School of Medicine, prepared statement of

Feussner, John, M.D., Chief Research and Development Officer, Depart-

ment of Veterans Affairs:

Letter dated October 29, 1997

Prepared statement of

Haley, Robert, M.D., director, Epidemiology and Scientific Graphics Lab-

oratory, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, prepared

statement of

Heivilin, Donna, Ph.D., Director, Planning and Reporting, General Ac-

counting Office, prepared statement of

Johnson-Winegar, Anna, Director, Environmental and Life Sciences, De-

partment of Defense:

DOD Miltary working dog evaluation fact sheet

DOD organizational structure

Persian Gulf veterans health research project update sheet

Prepared statement of

183

149

106

129

109

24

(III)

GULF WAR VETERANS' ILLNESSES: THE

RESEARCH AGENDA

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1998

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES,
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT,

Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2154, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher Shays (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Shays, Snowbarger, Towns, Kucinich, Allen, and Sanders.

Staff present: Lawrence Halloran, staff director; Robert A. Newman, professional staff member; and Cherri Branson, minority counsel.

Mr. SHAYS. I call this hearing to order and welcome our witnesses and our guests on this very important hearing, and welcome my colleagues, Mr. Towns and Mr. Sanders, as well.

In our oversight report on Gulf war veterans' illnesses, adopted without dissent by the full Government Reform and Oversight Committee in November, we found the Federal research effort had been blind to scientifically important but politically inconvenient, hypotheses about neurotoxic exposures. The committee recommended shifting control of the research agenda to an agency free of the institutional biases and doctrinal restraints we found hobbling the joint Veterans' Affairs and Defense Department program.

Today, we pursue and amplify that recommendation with an indepth review of the Research Working Group of the Persian Gulf Veterans Coordinating Board, the interagency body now responsible for the evaluation and selection of the epidemiological, clinical and basic research critical to the health, and hopes, of sick veterans. The process and product of their work will tell us where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go in studying the causes and cures of Gulf war veterans' illnesses.

The issue today is not blame for false starts and past failures. The issue today, and every day until the discovery of effective treatments, is how to focus a 6-year-old, $115 million research program that appears to confuse motion for progress, quantity for quality, and breadth for depth. The current agenda, although lately pointed toward more probable and promising theories, still projects a diffused, confused path that stretches well over the millennial horizon.

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