Agent Orange is a toxic herbicide combination of two very destructive chemicals – 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. This deadly poison was used to destroy trees and ground cover during the Vietnam war between 1961 and 1972. The devastating effects of Agent Orange are still lingering in the skins and bodies of the military men and women who served, as well as the land and the people of Vietnam.
Twelve million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over Vietnam, as reported by Naturalsociety.com. This was enough toxic herbicide to cover 18,000 acres, which is one forth of the country’s land mass. Two thirds of the Agent Orange utilized in the war was also contaminated with “TCDD, a form of dioxin,” another killer Monsanto chemical. Dioxin alone is associated with “at least 15 classes of cancer . . . and several birth defects.”
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush signed the Agent Orange Act, which included a mandate to conduct on-going independent scientific investigations by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) about Agent Orange and any medical conditions caused by its exposure. The final IOM report was written between 2012 and 2014. Bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson – like symptoms were added to a long list of Agent Orange linked diseases, which already included Chronic B-Cell Leukemias, Hodgkin’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Prostrate and Respiratory Cancers, Ischemic Heart Disease and multiple myeloma, among others. It’s difficult to imagine the suffering that continues.
The Vietnamese people still call it “The American War.” In the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of people in America were protesting what our leaders called the Vietnamese War. More than 58,000 names of veterans who died there are engraved on the Vietnam memorial wall in Washington, D.C., a stunning piece of work by Maya Lin that was fraught with its own controversy.
Have we remembered the thousands that have died, or those who are still suffering, as a result of Agent Orange? Apparently not. One half of the deadly Agent Orange concoction, 2,4-D, is now touted as a new ingredient in genetically modified corn and soy and cotton, courtesy of Dow Crop Sciences. To give this new GMO crop an extra death punch, they combine 2,4-D with glyphosate. What’s even more troubling, is the name of this product. They call it Enlist.
(Photo credit: Institute for Southern Studies)