Monday, August 10, 2009

Some truth about Agent Orange

Partial reprint of attached article in PDF format
Mum's the word
A declassified letter by V.K. Rowe
at Dow's Biochemical Research
Library to Bioproducts Manager Ross
Milholland dated June 24, 1965
clearly states that the company knew
the dioxin in their products,
including Agent Orange, could hurt

In reference to 2,4,5,-trichlorophenol
and 2,3,7,8,-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin
(components of Agent Orange), Rowe
"This material is exceptionally toxic;
it has a tremendous potential for
producing chloracne and systemic

Rowe worried the company would
suffer if word got out.

"The whole 2,4,5-T industry would
be hard hit and I would expect
restrictive legislation, either barring
the material or putting very rigid
controls upon it."

The report quotes a 1988 letter from
Dr. James R. Clary, a former
government scientist with the
Chemical Weapons Branch, to Senator
Tom Daschle. Dr. Clary was involved
in designing tanks that sprayed
herbicides and defoliants in Vietnam,
according to the report.
Clary told Daschle:

"When we (military scientists)
initiated the herbicide program in the
1960's, we were aware of the potential
for damage due to dioxin
contamination in the herbicide. We
were even aware that the 'military'
formulation had a higher dioxin
concentration than the 'civilian' version
due to the lower cost and speed of
manufacture. However, because the
material was to be used on the 'enemy,'
none of us were overly concerned. We
never considered a scenario in which
our own personnel would become
contaminated with the herbicide. And,
if we had, we would have expected our
own government to give assistance to
veterans so contaminated."
Chemical warfare: calling a spade a
Supporters of the US's Agent Orange
Campaign prefer to call it an
"herbicide program" rather than
chemical warfare. But official
documents reveal that the US Senate
knew its real name.
In US Senate Congressional Records
dated August 11, 1969, a table
presented to senators showed that
congress clearly classified 2,4-D and
2,4,5-T (main components of Agent
Orange) in the Chemical and Biological
Warfare category.

The table also includes Cacodylic
Acid, a main component of Agent Blue,
another chemical sprayed on Vietnam
to kill plants, in the official Chemical
and Biological Warfare category. The
table describes it as "an arsenic-base
compound.heavy concentrations will
cause arsenical poisoning in humans.
Widely used in Vietnam. It is
composed of 54.29 percent arsenic."
As Vietnam War Scholar and US
Veteran W.D. Ehrhart put it concisely
in a Thanh Nien Daily interview last
week: "It would be hard to describe
Agent Orange as anything other than
a chemical weapon. Dioxin is a
chemical." So is arsenic.

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