Wanted to post about this important PBS doc I saw the other night.https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/doc ... nt-orange/
Besides Oregon, it’s also been found in New Jersey (Newark-Passaic River), Washington, Idaho, Montana, Northern California and several nations (Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, many others, with the same birth defects, higher cancer rates, etc. They are dumping millions of barrels of it into the ocean, that’s not really a clean up!
I dont know if you watch PBS much but I saw a very interesting documentary tonight on there, Independent Film : The People vs Agent Orange season 15 episode 22 and it's extremely sad that children of Vietnam Vets have birth defects from it and they get no benefits from the government! Not to mention children still being born in Vietnam and Laos who have some of the worst birth defects I've ever seen (being born with enlarged pancreas, bulging eyes, parts of their brains missing, limbs facing backwards, webbed fingers and toes, etc.) it's awful! The US Govt was spraying there between 1962-1971 and was involved with burning thousands of pages of documents in 1971 when there was a large outcry and the spraying ended, but some of it was saved by whistleblowing scientists working at the Air Force and released later. This was the largest chemical war, not WW1, and based on what happened, this was definitely a war crime, with over 500 adults and millions of children affected by horrible birth defects and/or cancer. All they got for it was a $180 million settlement in a class action by Vets (but no benefits for their children who were born with birth defects because of their Vet dads' damaged sperm- very similar to the awful birth defects suffered in Vietnam and Laos) and the companies involved moved on with their dioxin laced 2-4,D concoction and later added glyphosate and atrazine to their toxic mix in their Oregon spraying (they stopped 2,4,5-T spraying since that had the highest concentrations of dioxin but it wasn't enough). The rest of it was about how it was still being sprayed in Oregon in the 70s and 80s and how there was a 50% miscarriage rate in Five Rivers, a town in Lincoln County, by a timber company to clear the brush. There were many lawsuits, the residents of the town even got threatened (either by the timber company, or Dow Chemical, they couldn't identify who the people were, just that they wore suits and followed them around and visited them and told them they need to keep an eye on their children!) that threat was later fulfilled when one of the houses there was burned down and 4 children died.....it was awful! They showed the grave shared by the four children with the death of all four is listed as December 30th, 1977. The state called it arson, but also an quotaccidentquot and the investigation was closed. They finally stopped spraying when the whole state turned against them but have started using a different toxic concoction there that includes the different pesticides all combined together, which the people who sprayed are now reporting blisters in their throat and on their tongue, dead ducks in rivers and lakes, frogs with reversed limbs, a high rate of miscarriages (reported as involuntary quotabortionsquot) and children with frequent diarrhea and children born with birth defects like webbed feet and incomplete limbs or fingers/toes. Similar to what happened in Vietnam and Laos. Toxicity of dioxin is listed as similar to plutonium, and its half life is 2 billion years.
This stuff can be so sad and make one angry at the same time. Dow and Monsanto knew all about how toxic the chemicals they were spraying were according to their own internal documents, but to the public they were saying that they were less toxic than aspirin
The EPA was complicit in the cover up as they tried to destroy the internal documents pertaining to the chemicals but 200,000 pages of it had to be released because of a freedom of information act request and all of that was eventually uploaded by the people in the town to Poison Papers. In addition to that the EPA was testing town residents for toxins and collecting dead and mutated animals, but the test samples mysteriously disappeared. Yeah right.
Seeing those children with those awful birth defects and mothers with cancer in multiple organs and those companies just waiting for them to die so they wouldn't be sued was about as awful as it could ever get.
In 2017 Lincoln County got a court order to suspend spraying but in 2019 the state court of appeals overturned it saying that a county couldn't do something that went against what the state wanted to do, so the fight continues. The Vietnam case had its own lawsuit in France thats been going on for 7 years, but the chemical companies involved are trying to slow things down, they think that if all the people involved in it die from cancer and whatever else they got from the chemicals, then the lawsuit will go away.
One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit made a great point, if corporations can be given declared quotpeoplequot by the Supreme Court then they should have to suffer the same penalties as people do when they commit crimes, and for mass murder, it should be the death penalty. They knew it was toxic, the papers proved they knew it going back to the 60s, and instead of stopping the spraying, they chose to cover it up. As did their buddies at the EPA.
I remember when we discussed how much better it was in the 70s and 80s, but now I doubt thats true, I just saw the PBS documentary on how Agent Orange and Dioxin were being sprayed in Oregon in the 70s and 80s and both Dow Chemical and our own EPA were covering up its toxicity and the resulting birth defects and high rate of miscarriages there. The residents were even being threatened for speaking up about it and four children were killed when a fire was set (possibly by people hired by Dow or the timber company that sprayed those toxic chemicals to clear the brush.) Dow and others like Monsanto/Bayer later moved on to spray other toxic chemicals or concoctions that mixed different chemicals that still result in death of wildlife or mutations that affect both humans and other animals as well as higher rates of cancer. A county in Oregon got it banned in 2017 but a higher court overturned that in 2019 saying the county couldn't go against the state. I'm very skeptical of proper reform until the entire system is overturned.....the chemical industry is just as bad as the fossil fuel industry and we need changes to our political system and economic system on a very fundamental level to see any longlasting reforms.