Australian Vietnam veterans Thursday lost another battle with the government for compensation for their exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange and other chemicals during the Vietnam War.

A government report released Thursday on the findings of a 1985 inquiry said the Vietnam veterans were unlikely to have suffered long-term health damage.Ben Humphreys, the federal minister for veterans affairs, said the study concluded that exposure of fathers to chemicals in Vietnam had not caused birth defects.

"The evidence provided by the weight of scientific research and the available data on cancer among Australian veterans gives a solid basis for the commission's summary conclusions on cancer," he said.

Humphreys said, however, the government would continue to monitor mortality and cancer rates amongst the veterans.

A class-action lawsuit by U.S. veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam against manufacturers of the substance was settled in 1985, when a New York judge awarded $180 million to claimants.