Baylor expert testifies before Congressional subcommittee on Gulf War illness

July 1, 2013

A Baylor university epidemiologist testified on March 12 before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the care provided to veterans of the Gulf War.

Dr. Lea Steele, research professor in the Baylor Institute of Biomedical Studies, focused on Gulf War illness and said the Department of Veteran Affairs has been slow to clearly and accurately acknowledge the problem and has failed to establish an effective and strategic scientific research program to address Gulf War illness research questions.

She testified that within the VA, there appears to have been backward movement, with actions that seem intended to ignore the science and minimize the fact that there is a serious medical condition resulting from military service in the 1991 Gulf War.

Steele - who has conducted research on the health of Gulf War veterans since 1998 - is director of the Baylor Veterans' Health Research Program and is the recipient of federal grants to support research projects on Gulf War illness. Studies indicate at least one in four of the 700,000 military personnel who served in the 1990-91 war are affected.

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