Ethan A. Huff
September 25, 2013
More than 40 years later and the unspeakable devastation caused by Monsanto’s Agent Orange herbicide, at least 20 million gallons of which was indiscriminately dumped on Vietnamese rainforests and crop fields during the Vietnam War by the American military, is still a grim reality for the likely millions of people and their children still suffering its consequences. New reports indicate that untold numbers of Vietnamese civilians, former soldiers and others exposed to the highly toxic chemical back in the 1960s and 1970s continue to develop terminal illnesses like cancer, as well as suffer from all sorts of other herbicide-induced health horrors.
One such human victim is 60-year-old Trai Nguyen, a Vietnamese immigrant who fled Vietnam after the war and came to the U.S. to try to rebuild a new life for himself. Today, Trai suffers from serious tremors and is currently undergoing conventional chemotherapy treatments for an aggressive and rare form of cancer that he believes is a direct result of exposure to Agent Orange. According to Mercury News, Trai is capable of doing little else besides resting on his bed at home these days, which is hardly the better life he envisioned living.
Nguyen Thi Ly, a 12-year-old girl currently living in Da Nang, Vietnam, an area near a former U.S. military base that is now considered to be an Agent Orange “hot spot,” has a similar story. Both Nguyen and her mother, Le Thi Thu, currently suffer from severe birth defects on their heads and faces and chronic pain as a result of Agent Orange exposure. And Le and her daughter are second- and third-generation victims of exposure to dioxin, the believed-to-be primary toxic ingredient in Agent Orange, illustrating that damage from the chemical is, indeed, long-term and perpetual.
“To this day, dioxin continues to poison the land and the people,” writes Drew Brown for McClatchy about the severity of the situation some four decades since the defoliant was first released. “The United States has never accepted responsibility for these victims – it denies that Agent Orange is responsible for diseases among Vietnamese that are accepted as Agent Orange-caused among American veterans — and it’s unclear when this chain of misery will end.”
Laundry list of diseases admittedly caused by Agent Orange exposure
These accepted diseases, which are now recognized by the government as being caused by Agent Orange dioxin (at least in some populations), include soft tissue sarcoma, both non- and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chloracne, respiratory cancer, prostate cancer, AL amyloidosis, Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, type-2 diabetes and spina bifida in the children of exposed individuals.
This list is especially concerning due to the fact that at least three million people spanning three generations, including at least 150,000 children born with severe birth defects since the end of the war in 1975, are believed to have been poisoned by Agent Orange during the war, according to the Vietnam Red Cross. This means that there are literally populations the size of large cities still suffering throughout the world as a result of this Monsanto chemical, many without proper compensation.
Chemical industry wants to bring Agent Orange back and spray it on US crops
Meanwhile, the chemical industry is once again pushing for Agent Orange to be introduced into civilian populations, this time in the form of a crop chemical known as 2,4-D. As we first reported back in 2011, 2,4-D is a dioxin chemical similar to the original Agent Orange formula, which is extremely toxic. And Dow AgroScience is right now urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deregulate the chemical solution, which contains a Monsanto additive, without proper safety testing, which would allow it to be sprayed on conventional U.S. crops.
Are the continued horrors of the first Agent Orange experiment not enough for these disease and death monsters to relent in their endless pursuit of polluting the world with deadly chemicals? When will this nightmare cease?
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This article was posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 5:04 am