How the US unleashed Hell’s Agent… It left a trail of appalling birth defects when they used it to clear forests in Vietnam. But a new film lays bare how America sprayed Agent Orange back home with devastating consequences… then went to war on those who tried to expose the truth
- Herbicide known as 2,4,5-T is the highly toxic main ingredient of Agent Orange
- The U.S. military stopped using it in 1971, but it was used in other parts of the US
- It left a trail of appalling birth defects, just as it had when it was used in Vietnam
By TOM LEONARD IN NEW YORK FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 17:18 EDT, 21 July 2021 | UPDATED: 17:18 EDT, 21 July 2021
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Then one day the children fell sick, choking and gasping.
Down at the river, Carol found a scene of devastation — dead ducklings, crayfish and trout.
The cause seemed fairly obvious: a U.S. Forestry Service helicopter had been flying overhead the day before, spraying something over the land.
Nobody knew what it was but, ‘a lot of people assumed, “Well it’s the government doing it, it must be OK,” ’ says Carol. ‘We called the fire service and they said: “Oh no, it’s perfectly safe.” ’ But it wasn’t.
The chopper was spraying a herbicide known as 2,4,5-T — the highly toxic main ingredient of Agent Orange, the notorious chemical defoliant used to blanket swathes of South-East Asia during the Vietnam War.
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And, appalling as that sounds, there was a devastating human parallel — successive generations of Vietnamese children were being born with equally horrifying deformities, earning Agent Orange notoriety as the most destructive chemical used in the history of warfare.
The battle waged by Carol and another courageous woman campaigner, French-Vietnamese activist Tran To Nga, against the ‘herbicide from Hell’ and the industrial giants and governments responsible for its manufacture is revealed in a new American documentary, The People Vs. Agent Orange.
America’s mixed feelings about the Vietnam War might help to explain why Oregon’s Agent Orange scandal was never made into a thriller. It is certainly worthy of it, with menacing men in dark suits, phone-tapping, stolen evidence and signs of a monstrous cover-up.
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Led by Carol Van Strum and her late husband Steve, locals set up Citizens Against Toxic Sprays (CATS) and took legal action.
The chemical and logging companies hit back with studies concluding that the chemicals were harmless, dismissing their opponents as tree-hugging zealots. A senior Dow company scientist claimed 2,4,5-T was ‘about as toxic as aspirin’.
Outside the courtroom, their tactics got much dirtier, say the protesters. A health study that an activist had meticulously compiled mysteriously went missing after her home was burgled. When protesters went to deliver evidence to officials in a nearby city, they were ‘followed by a shiny sedan with guys in suits’.
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Meanwhile, dioxin from Agent Orange is contaminating the environment at scores of sites around the world, from the Netherlands to Japan, where the herbicides were produced, tested, shipped and eventually dumped.
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And, those pushing a harmless covid vaccine wonder why no one trusts a word they day.
Remember EPA Christie Whitman: “Ground Zero Air Is Safe”
“I wouldn’t believe you, if your tongue came notarized.” … attributed to Judge Marilyn Milian, but may have an earlier history.
What redress do this Americans have?
If it’s so safe, let’s spray the homes of the Crony Capitalists, politicians, and bureaucrats. Maybe the whole Congress?