Furthermore, with regard to chronic diseases, causality is rarely limited to a single factor.

For those reasons, the present VAO committee has not adopted the suggestion to perform what would be in effect a checklist approach to distilling evidence concerning underlying causality for any observed statistical association between a human health effect and exposure to the components of the herbicides sprayed in Vietnam. The committee interprets its charge to be to summarize the scientific evidence for consideration by the Secretary, whose role is to make the policy decision of whether a contribution by herbicide exposure to the occurrence of an adverse health effect is likely enough to merit recognition as a presumptive condition.

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1 Throughout this report, the same alphabetic indicator after year of publication is used consistently for a given reference when there are multiple citations by the same first author in a given year. The convention of assigning the alphabetic indicators in order of citation in a given chapter is not followed.



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