Scientists have long been saying otherwise, and here’s one more study to prove it…
New Zealand troops who served in the Vietnam War suffered significant genetic damage from exposure to Agent Orange, a study suggests.
The chemical was used by the US military in Vietnam in the 1960s.
It has been blamed for a variety of medical conditions suffered by soldiers and up to four million Vietnamese.
The study by New Zealand’s scientists could have a big effect on campaigners’ efforts to sue major chemical firms and the US government, correspondents say.
The US military sprayed some 80m litres of Agent Orange on North and South Vietnam.
The aim was to destroy jungle foliage in order to find communist fighters more easily.
Agent Orange contained highly toxic dioxins which have since been blamed for causing cancers and other illnesses.
They have also been blamed for birth defects suffered by the children and even grandchildren of Vietnam veterans and Vietnamese civilians.
This has been strongly contested by the two main companies which made it – Dow and Monsanto – and the US government, the BBC’s Bill Hayton in Hanoi says.
A team from New Zealand’s Massey University has now shown that the group of 24 Vietnam veterans it tested suffered significant genetic damage, compared with a similar sized group of soldiers who did not serve in Vietnam, our correspondent says.
This may be crucial evidence in the lengthy legal battles still being waged in courts in the US and other countries to prove or disprove the link between Agent Orange and a legacy of illness across three continents, our correspondent says.
Knowing the US government’s long history of intransigence on this issue, I wouldn’t expect any results soon. Yet, curiously, it does have a web page devoted to the matter. And it lists some truly horrendous effects, such as birth defects, over a dozen types of cancer (some rare, most of them deadly), and type 2 diabetes.
But at the same time, veterans’ benefits to those who were exposed have been repeatedly denied. And of course, the companies that produce it haven’t coughed up a penny in compensation either, and the government is not holding them accountable. The horrors of Agent Orange are undeniable, but someone’s gonna keep denying reality long after it has become ludicrous to do so. Why? Because as always, the Almighty Dollar trumps science and conscience.
Can we also add governmental and corporate schizophrenia to the long list of disorders Agent Orange is known to cause?