Dear Mr. Jim Sampsel

From the desk of Richard D. Hartwell

Mr. Jim Sampsel must be the Department of Veterans Affair’s (and Monsanto’s and Dow’s, etc.) best “spin doctor” around! Not only does he conclude: that the “vast majority” of accumulated science is all wrong; that his department’s conclusions are based almost exclusively on a single adviser’s statements (a retired military officer – Dr. Alvin Young – with ties to and previous consultations for both Monsanto and Dow, as well as whose own “studies” were funded in part by Dow); and, finally, whose statements that surface-contact Agent Orange dissipates within a day and does not remain in the soil (let alone seep into streams and the water table which he never even mentioned) conflict with the scientific conclusions of the very federal agency in charge of making recommendations to the DVA.

Of course, Mr. Sampsel is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts – an extreme problem in our current, politically-charged climate. Mr. Sampsel also should not be entitled to express his opinions publically in a manor to disparage other scientific results secured by the DVA, public outcry, the media, other regulatory agencies under the umbrella of the Department of Veterans Affairs, nor to denigrate legislation and regulations which he is sworn to administer fairly and impartially in his capacity as a Department of Veterans Affairs’ lead compensation service analyst.

Mr. Jim Sampsel’s “conclusions” are not objective and not scientifically valid, but are discriminatory in the extreme given his position.

Personally, I believe all Agent Orange-related claims which were denied compensation under his tenure should be reviewed by a knowledgeable, independent adjudicator.

Personally, I believe his comments were (and actions may have been) totally unprofessional.

Personally, I believe he should be reprimanded.

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