Forward by jTremaine
Monsanto is infamous for heinous crimes against humanity and the natural world, as criminally insanely infamous as Nazi Germany’s Dr. Mengele, or Imperial Japan’s General Ishi, or Iraq’s Saddam Hussein,but they are all dead and Monsanto is the real live monster under everyone’s bed. There is no fabricated ISIS terror Calif, or Russian Nuclear threat, Mexican Drug cartel, unpatriotic whistle blower, same sex couple, domestic terrorist or letter bomber so acutely endangering the health, welfare and lives of every American and European citizen than the Mad Scientists of Monsanto, and the Fascist New World Empire that finances their serial murdering production team’s genocidal wet dreams.
The recurring birth defects and human mutations from the use of Agent Orange in the Vietnamese ‘conflict’, and neighboring victim states decades and generations after have not even been given tacit lip service by the mass media propaganda machine.
The one ‘SAFE’ bet is that there will be no network news, or reality TV sitcom starring the victims of American biological-chemical warfare from the villages of Southeast Asia to hit the prime time viewers this season or ever.
Monsanto is too big to fail, has too many military contracts and biological secrets to hide and is too politically corrosive and powerful to regulate, just like their brothers and sisters, the global banks, energy and petro-chemical cartels and the ruling class elite corporate royal families. All we can do is boycott any product manufactured by Monsanto, or the Koch Brothers, while we are at it. By the way a full line of Monsanto and Koch Brothers’ consumer poison products can be found at Wal Mart, Home Depot and Lowes. See the list of products to boycott, sabotage, steal or stockpile to use as defensive weapons later in this post.
Now for the unsung casualty class of special victims, the not ready for prime time players reality TV shows: The INNOCENT victims of corporate greed, imperial military barbarism and capitalist profit obsessed science gone mad.
John McCain’s Agent Orange Issue
By Chuck Simpson
During an April 6th speech to students of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in the capitol city of Hanoi, Senator John McCain acknowledged
“US wartime use of the defoliant Agent Orange in Vietnam remains an issue between the two countries.”
This astoundingly casual statement should arouse curiosity: What are the current facts on the ground that would cause wartime aerial spraying of Monsanto’s Agent Orange, which ended 38 years ago, to remain an “issue”? And why didn’t Senator McCain pledge to use his power as a United States senator to help resolve this issue in some reasonably equitable manner?
During what the Vietnamese refer to as the American War, local hearts and minds were “won” by American military forces through aerial spraying of herbicides that were identified by the color of 4-inch bands painted around their 55-gallon drums. Agent Orange has by far received the most attention, but five other herbicides also were used.
Agent Blue contained cacodylic acid, an arsenic compound, and was sprayed at the behest of a South Vietnamese president who thought poisoning his own people was a good thing because they were his enemies. The American military obliged the President by intentionally spraying the people America was supposed to be defending from evil Communists. Over a period of nine years, about 1.2 million gallons of Agent Blue were sprayed on rice paddies in an attempt to starve and poison South Vietnamese civilians.
Agent White was a 4:1 mix of 2,4-D and Picloram. Agent White was contaminated with hexachlorobenzene and nitrosamines, both known carcinogens.
Agent Pink was used during early stages of Operation Ranch Hand, before 1964. The only active compound was 2,4,5-T, which was contaminated with dioxin, at that time the most toxic man-made substance known to mankind.
Agent Purple consisted of a combination of the herbicides 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. Agent Purple is alleged to have contained 45 parts per million dioxin and was only used between 1962 and 1964.
Agent Green was also used only during that period. Agent Green’s only active ingredient was 2,4,5-T, presumably with similar dioxin contamination levels.
All six herbicides were defoliants, used to destroy food crops and to clear jungles, mangrove swamps and forests of foliage, the better to see while dropping bombs on defenseless villages.
For years the Pentagon admitted that, during 9-plus years of Operation Ranch Hand, about 19.4 million gallons of Agents Blue, Orange, White, Pink, Purple and Green were sprayed on slightly over 30,000 square miles, about 24 percent of South Vietnam.
In 2006 scientists at Columbia University discovered documents that indicate over 2 million gallons of herbicides were sprayed between 1962 and 1965 that were not included in totals provided by the Pentagon and relied upon in earlier studies.
Based on detailed analysis of flight records and available population data, the 2006 Columbia study estimated that 20,585 towns and villages were within spraying regions. As many as 4.8 million civilians could have been present in those towns and villages while spraying operations were conducted.
The mightiest and most powerful and fearsome military force ever assembled by mankind made war against millions of unarmed and defenseless civilians, predominantly women, their children and the elderly, in the country they were supposedly protecting and supporting.
Agent Orange was by far the most widely used defoliant. During that nine-plus year period, approximately 11.7 million gallons of Agent Orange, a 50-50 mix of the herbicides 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, was sprayed on South Vietnam.
Because of time and money-saving shortcuts that resulted in insufficient heating during manufacture, the 2,4,5-T was contaminated with 2,3,7,9-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or simply dioxin.
The dangers of Agent Orange became known in 1952, nine years prior to the onset of use in Vietnam, when Monsanto Chemical warned the Army that 2,4,5-T was “contaminated by a toxic substance”. This was confirmed in 1965 through a study of involuntarily exposed and uninformed inmates at Holmesburg state prison in Philadelphia. The progress of their resulting cancers was monitored and studied but no treatment was offered or provided.
The Holmesburg report and subsequent confirming reports all were hidden. Millions of Vietnamese and a quarter-million American soldiers were exposed. As in the 1991 Gulf War, Pentagon brass used chemical weapons of mass destruction on civilians in violation of Geneva Convention rules of warfare, prevented all independent efforts to study their horrific effects and refused to acknowledge existence of overwhelming evidence of those horrific effects.
For over 50 years the Pentagon has evaded the truth and deceived the public by claiming Agent Orange was harmless.
EPA has a slightly different outlook.
Pursuant to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA established a maximum contaminant level goal of dioxin in drinking water of zero. The maximum contamination level allowed is 0.00003 parts per billion.
For many years the Pentagon claimed an Agent Orange dioxin contamination level of three parts per million. Independent testing has established average contamination levels of about 13 parts per million. That is 425 million times the concentration allowed in American drinking water.
Granted, very few if any people actually drank Agent Orange. But, conservatively assuming 2,500 drops per pint, one drop of Agent Orange accidentally ingested would result in the intake of the same amount of dioxin as would be contained in 21,250 gallons of drinking water which meets federal standards. A person would ingest the same amount of dioxin in one drop of Agent Orange as he would ingest by drinking 2 quarts of conforming drinking water daily for over 116 years.
These comparisons illuminate the very real possibility that substantial numbers of Vietnamese villagers might well have suffered from Agent Orange poisoning.
Soil contamination examples are similar. One example: Over 30 years after spraying ended, soil at the Bien Hoa former military base had Agent Orange contamination at 180 million times EPA’s maximum safe level.
Today, at least one million and perhaps as many as three million Vietnamese suffer serious health problems as a result of countrywide spraying of Agent Orange. That number includes about 150,000 with serious birth defects, including spina bifida, severe retardation, blindness, tumors and grotesquely deformed or missing limbs. For the caretaking parents of these children, the war never ended. For these children the war never will end.
In the village of Cam Nghia for example, one child in every ten is born with serious defects. That ratio understates the problem because about 30 percent of village pregnancies terminate by miscarriage or stillbirth.
The war was allegedly fought to prevent Vietnam from “going Communist”. On April 30, 1975, over two years after the last American fighting forces were removed from the country, the last remaining Americans were evacuated from the roof of their embassy by helicopter as masses of North Vietnamese troops entered the northern sections of Saigon.
Without an American presence, a unified Vietnam rebuilt their war-devestated country. The American government called this an act of an evil communist society. The Vietnamese called this a demonstration of solidarity, with everyone unselfishly helping everybody else. A unified Vietnam transitioned with a communist-style government for 11 years. Left to their own devices without American interference or influence, Vietnam then freely chose to move to a western-style free-market economy in 1986.
Since 1986, while the American economy has remained stagnant for all but the richest, the Vietnamese economy has grown dramatically. For several years they recorded 20 percent annual growth rates for the export of goods produced by local companies listed on the booming Vietnam National Stock Exchange. Vietnamese investors own stocks of businesses in one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Unfettered free market capitalism. Some Americans recognize the sickening irony of the Vietnamese people of their own volition and without American influence doing exactly what America tried to force down Vietnamese throats, via support of what was at the time widely recognized as being the most corrupt government on the face of the earth.
Today, American companies like VISA and American Express sponsor floats in the annual parade celebrating victory over American forces in Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City. That parade passes down Hong Thap Tu, past the site of the former American Embassy, which was razed. or “deconstructed” in militaryspeak, over ten years ago.
Being American-style capitalists, the Vietnamese people attempted a capitalist solution to obtain redress for damages caused by America’s illegal use of Agent Orange. In January, 2004 the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange filed suit in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York against Monsanto, Dow Chemical and eight other manufacturers of Agent Orange.
The suit was dismissed early in 2005. The judge ruled that plaintiffs had failed to show that any domestic or international law had been violated. In March of this year, the Supreme Court refused to hear plaintiff’s appeal.
The primary hurdle that faced the plaintiffs was lack of internationally accepted studies that establish a link between exposure to Agent Orange and birth defects, cancer and a host of other serious illnesses. That’s because no definitive studies have been made by the Pentagon, because positive findings would support claims filed by tens of thousands of American soldiers. Instead, the Pentagon for almost 40 years has steadfastly denied any and all responsibility for the harm they intentionally caused:
“Dioxin contamination… is harmless and causes no serious health problems or serious birth defects.”
The Pentagon has also steadfastly refused to acknowledge harm caused to a quarter-million American soldiers who were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
In 1991, Congress authorized financial assistance to these wounded veterans. The Pentagon and the Veterans Administration responded by calling the link between Agent Orange and health problems “presumptive” and refused to pay legitimate claims. Only 1,800 claims, for 0.72 percent of the number of veterans who came into contact with Agent Orange filed have been approved for payment of compensation to American vets for the adverse effects caused by exposure to Agent Orange. To this day the American government is financially able but morally unwilling to fairly and honestly accept responsibility and compensate and support its patriotic wounded and disabled veterans for the damage the Pentagon knowingly and willfully caused.
The Pentagon refused to perform the necessary studies and prevented others from doing them. And war-ravaged Vietnam had no funds to do studies. Partially because in 1975 America vindictively imposed a Cuban-style economic boycott on a unified Vietnam as punishment for winning the war. American efforts concentrated on oppression and continuation of suffering.
One example: India attempted to provide 100 water buffalo, to replace a small part of the buffalo population deliberately killed during the war by American soldiers. America objected and threatened to cancel Food for Peace aid. The trade embargo was finally ended in 1994, 19 years after America lost the war. Diplomatic relations were established in 1995.
Legally established liability or no, America has, for the past 20 years, graciously provided funding for disabled Vietnamese citizens.
During that twenty year period, America has provided 46 million dollars.
Assume this money was used only to support the estimated 150,000 Vietnamese born with birth defects. The financial assistance so graciously provided by America would result in a monthly benefit of 1.28 cents per child.
One point two-eight cents per month per child.
Fifteen cents per year per deformed child for damage America illegally and intentionally inflicted on defenseless women in violation of Geneva Convention rules.
For lifelong damage intentionally inflicted upon the innocent children of the people America was supposed to be supporting.
I say to Senator McCain, the accompanying photos depict but three examples of the “issue” you so casually referenced in your speech.
Senator McCain, I say stop trying to count the number of houses your wife owns long enough to open your eyes and see what you condone by refusing to use your senatorial powers to assist these innocent children. Refusing to do anything at all. I say look and consider: One point two-eight cents per month.
I say the fact that you, as a United States Senator with power of leadership that could bring about partial atonement for this terrible injustice committed against innocent children, casually tossed this comment out without hanging your head in shame conclusively establishes that you don’t have the moral authority to serve as the Hooterville assistant street sweeper, let alone as a President of the United States. Or as a senator.
Warning: This post contains graphic imagery not suitable for children.
Agent Orange, made by the Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical, was one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. Dioxin, the toxic compound in Agent Orange, has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects and organ dysfunction.
Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of its use. The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange. (Source)
Unfortunately, when you spray toxic chemicals, it’s not something that goes away anytime soon. 40 years later, children in southeast Asia are still being born with birth defects from Agent Orange.
Children in the areas where Agent Orange was used have been affected and have multiple health problems, including cleft palate, mental disabilities, hernias, and extra fingers and toes. In the 1970s, high levels of dioxin were found in the breast milk of South Vietnamese women, and in the blood of U.S. soldiers who had served in Vietnam. (Source)
Monsanto’s Agent Orange Still Poisoning Children in Vietnam
You won’t see videos like this one on American news channels. Thanks to Aljazeera for this coverage.
This photo is of dead Vietnamese babies, stillborn and deformed as a result of prenatal dioxin exposure from Agent Orange.
(There are plenty more images like this one online. Just google “agent orange children vietnam”.)
Are you outraged? You should be.
I know these images are horrible and nobody wants to see stuff like this.
But I think it’s important for people to see them. Our news programs and newspapers do not show them. I’m sorry to have to publish them, and I wish they did not exist.
Sadly, they do exist. And we as Americans need to wake up and take responsibility for what these chemical corporations are doing to people.
We need to do everything we can to stop these chemical corporations from killing people, ruining lives, and destroying our planet.
Fight Back Against the Chemical Companies: Vote Yes on Prop 37
Do you trust these companies with your children’s health?
We wonder why we’re getting so much cancer in this country, and yet we don’t think twice about eating foods laden with pesticides and herbicides. Pesticides and herbicides made by the same corporations that created Agent Orange.
Right now there is something we can do to fight these chemical companies.
Proposition 37 is on the November ballot in California — and it would require labeling of GMOs (genetically modified foods).
Multinational corporations including Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, Syngenta have raised over $40 million to fight Prop 37. They don’t want their GMO foods labeled because they know Americans won’t buy them if they are labeled.
If GMO foods really are safe, why are these chemical companies shelling out so much money to make sure these GMO foods don’t get labeled?
Help Get the Word Out: YES on Prop 37!
The chemical corporations have thrown $40 million to deceive voters with propaganda. We don’t have that kind of money but we do have the internet.
We CAN make a difference. Please help us spread the word! Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Tell your friends and family in California to get out and vote YES on Prop 37.
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Video credit: Aljazeera
FAIR USE NOTICE: This video has been posted to further advance our understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, Technological, democratic, scientific, and social justice issues which constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 for research and educational purposes.
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“If we fail to realize that March Against Monsanto is not about GMOs alone, then we have already lost the battle.”Kelly L. Derricks
Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, COVVHA, has set out to educate the world about the crimes Monsanto has committed against humanity. Monsanto and 6 other chemical companies have gotten away with murder for the last 50 plus years.
Agent Orange, the chemical weapon herbicide used most predominantly during the Vietnam War to clear the vast jungles of Southeast Asia, was thought of as the advantage that the United States held over the “enemy.” Agent orange was a 50/50 mixture of 2,4, D & Dioxin tainted 2,4.5,T. The herbicide was manufactured by 7 companies.
Monsanto was so greedy to take the market share of the D.O.D.’s money, that Monsanto’s Agent Orange was at 1,000 times greater the potency than any of the other 6 companies. Due to trying to rush the manufacturing process, dioxin became an industrial byproduct in Agent Orange.
Dioxin is second only to radioactive waste in its ability to destroy.
Many people are familiar with the devastation left in Vietnam from Agent Orange, from the scorched earth to the horrifying pictures of children with unspeakable birth defects. What most people are not familiar with are the millions of United States Veterans that were exposed to Agent Orange who ultimately returned home from the war with a death sentence.
The US Government, and Chemical companies hid as veterans voiced concerns of their ailing health after the war.
That same death sentence was then passed on to possibly hundreds of thousands of American children that were conceived when their parents came home from war and started families. A generational serial killer, Agent Orange stores itself in the fatty tissue of the primary person exposed and then is thought to mutate the DNA of the conceived child causing many of the same birth defects, diseases, illnesses and ultimately deaths, as are seen in generations of Vietnamese.
Hundreds of thousands globally have died including members of Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance and will continue to die drastically before the average human lifespan.
After COVVHA was founded, just over two years ago, they felt it imperative to begin a database of illnesses and birth defects that we, the second generation, have been living with. To date, the list has grown to over 800 illnesses that many of the members are suffering from. Most have no prior family history. Additionally, COVVHA has a database tracking the illnesses for the grandchildren (third generation) as well. Yes, it seems Monsanto has poisoned the grandkids of Vietnam vets too. Neither the U.S. Government, or chemical companies will acknowledge the early death sentence they have given us.
COVVHA was founded by children of Vietnam Veterans who have been born, and live with, the debilitating birth defects that Agent Orange/Dioxin are presumed to cause. We want justice, answers and support for the generational victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin. You can imagine how horrified we are as, half of Agent Orange’s chemical compound, 2, 4,-D, and other pesticides like roundup, are the chemicals being sprayed on GMO crops, resulting in triple the danger of food that is not organic. Imagine what happens to a body already exposed to Agent Orange that consumes these GMO pesticides and foods. In a nutshell, Agent Orange was, in essence, the chicken before the GMO egg.
March Against Monsanto works diligently to make sure the public knows that the movement is not just about food. It’s about standing up to cronyism. Shortly after the first worldwide MAM event that was held one year ago today, COVVHA teamed up with MAM to build an Agent Orange Education program that now serves as a model example of awareness being spread across huge spans of different generations.
For the last 50 years, Monsanto has gotten away with this crime. If there is no unity between organizations fighting for Agent Orange justice and those fighting for the labeling & banning of GMO’s, how many more years do you think it will take before you see a change? The answer, can simply be only one…. TOO MANY.
We want the world to know that the company trying to dominate the global food supply, and telling you that GMOs are safe to eat, are nothing more than murderers who should be tried and convicted. Monsanto, will tell you that they were contracted by the United States Government and therefore should have no accountability for the travesties created by Agent Orange. In fact, as the largest producer of Agent Orange, Monsanto themselves knew that the chemical was deadly. Besides, even in the worst case scenario, It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there might be serious danger to humans if they are coming into contact with a chemical that turned lush green jungles into barren wastelands in a matter of hours. We are all fighting together to change that. We have rights, we have a voice, and we will be heard!
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods are being produced in laboratories by the same chemical companies that mass produced Agent Orange. As contractors for the United States Government, Monsanto was the largest and most deadly producer of Agent Orange. Their chemical potency was one thousand (1,000) times greater in deadliness as compared to the other chemical companies producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War era.
Today, half of Agent Orange’s chemical compound, 2, 4,-D, and other pesticides like roundup, are the chemicals being sprayed on GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, resulting in triple the danger of food that is not organic. Imagine what happens to a body already exposed to Agent Orange, like the countless Vietnam Veterans and their children, when consuming these GMO pesticides and foods. In a nutshell, Agent Orange was, in essence, the chicken before the GMO egg.
(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC., was founded by Kelly L. Derricks and Heather A. Bowser. Both disabled daughters of deceased Vietnam Veterans, they are committed to serving as a voice for the children of Vietnam Veterans including second and third generation victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin Exposures worldwide. They believe in empowering each other to hold the companies (such as Monsanto) and governments responsible for causing so much devastation and suffering to generations.
COVVHA has teamed up with March Against Monsanto to build an Agent Orange Awareness program that will prove to be a long lasting and far reaching campaign within both organizations. Many of our speakers videos can now be found on COVVHA’s Youtube channel
Agent Orange Awareness
Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance (COVVHA) members continue to speak out in cities all across the United States at the worldwide March Against Monsanto (MAM) rallies.
Never before have so many Children of Vietnam Veterans spoken out at the same time, on the same day, about how Agent Orange has affected their health, and the health of their families. Monsanto was one of the seven chemical companies who manufactured Agent Orange which was laced with one of the most deadly chemicals known to man, dioxin. Monsanto, the other six companies, and the U.S. government, are responsible for the slow burn genocide of Vietnam Veterans, their children and grandchildren.
Today, fifty two years after the beginning of spraying in Vietnam the effects of the chemical are still being felt here in the United States, Australia, and in Vietnam.
Children of Vietnam Veterans feel it’s their responsibility to speak out against Genetically Modified Foods manufactured and grown by a chemical company that has killed and sickened their fathers, and created havoc in their own lives. Almost as soon as Vietnam Veterans came home and started their family, reports began to surface about multiple miscarriages and birth defects in their children. Their plea has mostly been ignored. Currently, the only acknowledged birth defect in the children of male Vietnam Veterans is Spina Bifida (not Occulta). However, thousands of Vietnam Veteran’s children believe their father’s exposure is to blame for their birth defects and chronic illnesses and their children’s birth defects and illnesses. Yes, the grand children of Vietnam Veterans suffer in high numbers as well. Children of Vietnam Veterans do not want the horrible legacy they must carry to be repeated in the lives of another innocent population.
Tami Canal, of Salt Lake City, Utah, Founder of March Against Monsanto, invited Kelly L. Derricks, of Philadelphia, PA, Co Founder of Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance to consult with MAM, as the head Agent Orange Educator for the MAM organization. Connecting past history, which is still devastating those Agent Orange has touched, with current concerns over rights to know what is in the food the country is digesting, is a way to build perspective on the dangers of mixing Agrichemical companies and government regulation or lack of regulation.
COVVHA was started for the purpose of Agent Orange Education and empowerment. One of their primary goals is to empower children of Vietnam Veterans to be their own voice in a world that has moved on and forgotten them. The group was started by two children of Vietnam Veterans who have both lost their fathers from Agent Orange illnesses, and themselves suffer from birth defects and illnesses. Matching COVVHA members to local MAM rallies was a natural step encouraging collaboration and information sharing.
COVVHA members went through a short process requiring them to write their own Agent Orange story, become knowledgeable about the history of the chemical herbicide Agent Orange , and current benefits available to children of female Vietnam Veterans (18 + birth defects recognized) and children of Male Vietnam Veterans (one, Spina Bifida, not occulta). They used the information to write a 15 minute speech. Many will be speaking publicly for the first time about their experiences as an Agent Orange survivor. When the COVVHA member completed the necessary requirements, they became COVVHA Certified Speakers. This event is starting the groundwork for a nationwide speaker’s bureau where organizations interested in having an Agent Orange speaker at their event or meeting will be able to find someone locally.
Several COVVHA members wrote speeches, but are too ill to travel. Their speeches were sent to MAM local events that requested a speaker, but did not have a local COVVHA member.
Some of the illnesses children of Vietnam Veterans are suffering from in large numbers include, auto immune diseases, spinal problems, endocrine disorders, cancers, muscle skeletal problems, fertility issues and mental illness. COVVHA has a large private support community made up of only children of Vietnam Veterans to connect members with each other so they can finally know they are not alone.
Agent Orange has left many families grieving through the five decades since the beginning of chemical spraying in Vietnam in 1961. Currently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes 14 different illnesses and cancers as presumptive and compensated illnesses for Vietnam Veterans. Any Vietnam Veteran who was in Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, including brief visits, or service aboard a ship that operated on the inland waterways has been presumed as exposed to Agent Orange. A veteran may also be eligible if they served along the Korean DMZ between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971. Some of the presumed illnesses Veterans can file for, include Type II Diabetes, Hodgkin’s Disease, Prostate Cancer, Ischemic Heart Disease and others. Please contact a local service officer to file a claim for disability, and or survivor benefits. A veteran or family member may reach out to the Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion, or a county service officer to file a claim.
So when your thoughts return to summer and the color orange, remember the children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans who continue to fight a war they weren’t drafted for or signed up for. The innocent ones who have been maimed and forgotten, who as adults must now stand up and speak out or continue to be denied until they die like many of their fathers before them. October is Agent Orange Awareness Month; please support those trying to make a difference in their own lives.
Birth Defect Research for Children has worked with Vietnam veterans’ families since 1986 when the first Agent Orange Class Assistance Programs were funded. Although BDRC did not have AOCAP funding, we worked with the University of South Carolina in case work that involved counseling with veterans’ families and creating a series of fact sheets on the disabilities they were reporting in their children. During this time BDRC also began the first initiative to set up the National Birth Defect Registry, partly to collect the information being reported by the veterans.
BDRC worked with the New Jersey Agent Orange Commission to develop the Vietnam veterans’ exposure section of the registry questionnaire. BDRC has collected information from thousands of families of Vietnam veterans and has found a consistent pattern of disabilities in their children. These data have been presented to the National Academy of Sciences, congressional committees, the Veterans’ Administration and in national media forums.
- Agent Orange and Birth Defects. A comprehensive review of the latest research on Agent Orange and birth defects.
- The National Vietnam Veterans Birth Defects/Learning Disabilities Project
- Letter from the EPA regarding the National Birth Defect Regsitry. ”We understand that the effects of exposures in the past, including exposures of Vietnam veterans are still of great concern. Your birth defect registry is the type of effort needed to make linkages between environmental exposures and birth defects.”
When you take a moment to reflect on the history of product development at Monsanto, what do you find? Here are twelve products that Monsanto has brought to market. See if you can spot the pattern…
#1 – Saccharin
Did you know Monsanto got started because of an artificial sweetener? John Francisco Queeny founded Monsanto Chemical Works in St. Louis, Missouri with the goal of producing saccharin for Coca-Cola. In stark contrast to its sweet beginnings, studies performed during the early 1970s,* including a study by the National Cancer Institute in 1980, showed that saccharin caused cancer in test rats and mice.
After mounting pressure from consumers, the Calorie Control Council, and manufacturers of artificial sweeteners and diet sodas, along with additional studies (several conducted by the sugar and sweetener industry) that reported flaws in the 1970s studies, saccharin was delisted from the NIH’s Carcinogen List. A variety of letters from scientists advised against delisting; the official document includes the following wording to this day: “although it is impossible to absolutely conclude that it poses no threat to human health, sodium saccharin is not reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen under conditions of general usage as an artificial sweetener.” (*Read the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s History of Saccharin here.)
#2 – PCBs
During the early 1920s, Monsanto began expanding their chemical production into polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to produce coolant fluids for electrical transformers, capacitors, and electric motors. Fifty years later, toxicity tests began reporting serious health effects from PCBs in laboratory rats exposed to the chemical.
After another decade of studies, the truth could no longer be contained: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report citing PCBs as the cause of cancer in animals, with additional evidence that they can cause cancer in humans. Additional peer-reviewed health studies showed a causal link between exposure to PCBs and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a frequently fatal form of cancer.
In 1979, the United States Congress recognized PCBs as a significant environmental toxin and persistent organic pollutant, and banned its production in the U.S. By then Monsanto already had manufacturing plants abroad, so they weren’t entirely stopped until the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants banned PCBs globally in 2001.
And that’s when Monsanto’s duplicity was uncovered: internal company memos from 1956 surfaced, proving that Monsanto had known about dangers of PCBs from early on.
In 2003, Monsanto paid out over $600 million to residents of Anniston, Alabama, who experienced severe health problems including liver disease, neurological disorders and cancer after being exposed to PCBs — more than double the payoff that was awarded in the case against Pacific Gas & Electric made famous by the movie “Erin Brockovich.”
And yet the damage persists: nearly 30 years after PCBs have been banned from the U.S., they are still showing up in the blood of pregnant women, as reported in a 2011 study by the University of California San Francisco.
#3 – Polystyrene
In 1941, Monsanto began focusing on plastics and synthetic polystyrene, which is still widely used in food packaging and ranked 5th in the EPA’s 1980s listing of chemicals whose production generates the most total hazardous waste.
#4 – Atom bomb and nuclear weapons
Shortly after acquiring Thomas and Hochwalt Laboratories, Monsanto turned this division into their Central Research Department. Between 1943 to 1945, this department coordinated key production efforts of the Manhattan Project—including plutonium purification and production and, as part of the Manhattan Project’s Dayton Project, techniques to refine chemicals used as triggers for atomic weapons (an era of U.S. history that sadly included the deadliest industrial accident).
#5 – DDT
In 1944, Monsanto became one of the first manufacturers of the insecticide DDT to combat malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Despite decades of Monsanto propaganda insisting that DDT was safe, the true effects of DDT’s toxicity were at last confirmed through outside research and in 1972, DDT was banned throughout the U.S.
#6 – Dioxin
In 1945, Monsanto began promoting the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture with the manufacture of the herbicide 2,4,5-T (one of the precursors to Agent Orange), containing dioxin. Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that since become known as one of the “Dirty Dozen” — persistent environmental pollutants that accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals. In the decades since it was first developed, Monsanto has been accused of covering up or failing to report dioxin contamination in a wide range of its products.
#7 – Agent Orange
During the early 1960s, Monsanto was one of the two primary manufacturers of Agent Orange, an herbicide / defoliant used for chemical warfare during the Vietnam War. Except Monsanto’s formula had dioxin levels many times higher than the Agent Orange produced by Dow Chemicals, the other manufacturer (which is why Monsanto was the key defendant in the lawsuit brought by Vietnam War veterans in the United States).
(Pictured at left, Anh and Trang Nhan, with their father, when they first arrived at the Hoi An Orphanage; below are the same brothers shortly before Trang’s death. Source: Kianh Foundation Newsletter, Dec. 2011)
As a result of the use of Agent Orange, Vietnam estimates that over 400,000 people were killed or maimed, 500,000 children were born with birth defects, and up to 1 million people were disabled or suffered from health problems—not to mention the far-reaching impact it had on the health of over 3 million American troops and their offspring.
Internal Monsanto memos show that Monsanto knew of the problems of dioxin contamination of Agent Orange when it sold it to the U.S. government for use in Vietnam. Despite the widespread health impact, Monsanto and Dow were allowed to appeal for and receive financial protection from the U.S. government against veterans seeking compensation for their exposure to Agent Orange.
In 2012, a long 50 years after Agent Orange was deployed, the clean-up effort has finally begun. Yet the legacy of Agent Orange, and successive generations of body deformities, will remain in orphanages throughout VietNam for decades to come.
(Think that can’t happen here? Two crops were recently genetically engineered to withstand a weedkiller made with one of the major components of Agent Orange, 2,4-D, in order to combat “super weeds” that evolved due to the excessive use of RoundUp.)
8 – Petroleum-Based Fertilizer
In 1955, Monsanto began manufacturing petroleum-based fertilizer after purchasing a major oil refinery. Petroleum-based fertilizers can kill beneficial soil micro-organisms, sterilizing the soil and creating a dependence, like an addiction, to the synthetic replacements. Not the best addiction to have, considering the rising cost and dwindling supply of oil…
#9 – RoundUp
During the early 1970s, Monsanto founded their Agricultural Chemicals division with a focus on herbicides, and one herbicide in particular: RoundUp (glyphosate). Because of its ability to eradicate weeds literally overnight, RoundUp was quickly adopted by farmers. Its use increased even more when Monsanto introduced “RoundUp Ready” (glyphosate-resistant) crops, enabling farmers to saturate the entire field with weedkiller without killing the crops.
While glyphosate has been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide and is widely used, concerns about its effects on humans and the environment persist. RoundUp has been found in samples of groundwater, as well as soil, and even in streams and air throughout the Midwest U.S., and increasingly in food. It has been linked to butterfly mortality, and the proliferation of superweeds. Studies in rats have shown consistently negative health impacts ranging from tumors, altered organ function, and infertility, to cancer and premature death. Reference the above “GMO Risks” page which includes countless references to support these statements.
#10 – Aspartame (NutraSweet / Equal)
An accidental discovery during research on gastrointestinal hormones resulted in a uniquely sweet chemical: aspartame. During the clinical trials conducted on 7 infant monkeys as part of aspartame’s application for FDA approval, 1 monkey died and 5 other monkeys had grand mal seizures—yet somehow aspartame was still approved by the FDA in 1974. In 1985, Monsanto acquired the company responsible for aspartame’s manufacture (G.D. Searle) and began marketing the product as NutraSweet. Twenty years later, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report listing 94 health issues caused by aspartame.
#11 – Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)
This genetically modified hormone was developed by Monsanto to be injected into dairy cows to produce more milk. Cows subjected to rBGH suffer excruciating pain due to swollen udders and mastitis, and the pus from the resulting infection enters the milk supply requiring the use of additional antibiotics. rBGH milk has been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer in humans.
#12 – Genetically Modified Crops / GMOs
In the early 1990s, Monsanto began gene-splicing corn, cotton, soy, and canola with DNA from a foreign source to achieve one of two traits: an internally-generated pesticide, or an internal resistance to Monsanto’s weedkiller RoundUp. Despite decades of promises that genetically engineered crops would feed the world with more nutrients, drought resistance, or yield, the majority of Monsanto’s profits are from seeds that are engineered to tolerate Monsanto’s RoundUp—an ever-rising, dual income stream as weeds continue to evolve resistance to RoundUp.
Most sobering however, is that the world is once again buying into Monsanto’s “safe” claims.
Just like the early days of PCBs, DDT, Agent Orange, Monsanto has successfully fooled the general public and regulatory agencies into believing that RoundUp, and the genetically modified crops that help sell RoundUp, are “safe.”
Except Monsanto has learned a thing or two in the past 100+ years of defending its dirty products: these days, when a new study proving the negative health or environmental impacts of GMOs emerges, Monsanto attacks the study and its scientist(s) by flooding the media with counter claims from “independent” organizations, scientists, industry associations, blogs, sponsored social media, and articles by “private” public relations firms—frequently founded, funded and maintained by Monsanto.
Unfortunately, few of us take the time to trace the members, founders, and relationships of these seemingly valid sources back to their little Monsanto secret.
Fooling the FDA required a slightly different approach: click on the below chart compiled by Millions Against Monsanto to see how many former Monsanto VPs and legal counsel are now holding positions with the FDA. And don’t forget Clarence Thomas, former Monsanto attorney who is now a Supreme Court Justice, ruling in favor of Monsanto in every case brought before him.
A Baker’s Dozen: #13 – Terminator Seeds
In the late 1990s, Monsanto developed the technology to produce sterile grains unable to germinate. These “Terminator Seeds” would force farmers to buy new seeds from Monsanto year after year, rather than save and reuse the seeds from their harvest as they’ve been doing throughout centuries. Fortunately this technology never came to market. Instead, Monsanto chose to require farmers to sign a contract agreeing that they will not save or sell seeds from year to year, which forces them to buy new seeds and preempts the need for a “terminator gene.” Lucky for us… since the terminator seeds were capable of cross-pollination and could have contaminated local non-sterile crops.
What’s the Result of our Monsanto Legacy?
Between 75% to 80% of the processed food you consume every day has GMOs inside, and residues of Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide outside. But it’s not just processed food—fresh fruit and vegetables are next: genetically engineered sweet corn is already being sold at your local grocer, with apples and a host of other “natural” produce currently in field trials.
How is it that Monsanto is allowed to manipulate our food after such a dark product history? How is it they are allowed to cause such detrimental impact to our environment and our health?
According to the Organic Consumers Association, “There is a direct correlation between our genetically engineered food supply and the $2 trillion the U.S. spends annually on medical care, namely an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases.
Instead of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and grass-fed animal products, U.S. factory farms and food processors produce a glut of genetically engineered junk foods that generate heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer—backed by farm subsidies—while organic farmers receive no such subsidies.
Monsanto’s history reflects a consistent pattern of toxic chemicals, lawsuits, and manipulated science. Is this the kind of company we want controlling our world’s food supply?
P.S. Monsanto’s not alone. Other companies in the “Big Six” include Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a subsidiary of DuPont), Syngenta AG, Dow Agrosciences (a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, BASF (which is primarily a chemical company that is rapidly expanding their biotechnology division, and Bayer Cropscience (a subsidiary of Bayer).
Click here to show sources
Original article on GMO Awareness
Read more: Monsanto’s Dirty Dozen: The 12 Most Awful Products Made By Monsanto http://fracturedparadigm.com/2013/04/15/monsantos-dirty-dozen-the-12-most-awful-products-made-by-monsanto/#ixzz3FQ9uJ0wN
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