24 Facts About Agent Orange


Agent Orange is a chemical herbicide and defoliant, one of the "tactical use" Rainbow Herbicides.

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Agent Orange was produced in the United States from the late 1940s and was used in industrial agriculture and was sprayed along railroads and power lines to control undergrowth in forests.

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Agent Orange was first used by the British Armed Forces in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency.

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Active ingredient of Agent Orange was an equal mixture of two phenoxy herbicides – 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2, 4, 5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2, 4, 5-T) – in iso-octyl ester form, which contained traces of the dioxin 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).

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Agent Orange discovered both that 2, 3, 5-triiodobenzoic acid would speed up the flowering of soybeans and that in higher concentrations it would defoliate the soybeans.

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Agent Orange was usually sprayed from helicopters or from low-flying C-123 Provider aircraft, fitted with sprayers and "MC-1 Hourglass" pump systems and 1, 000 U S gallons chemical tanks.

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Agent Orange estimated this would have caused famine and left hundreds of thousands of people without food or malnourished in the province.

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The U S defeated most of the resolutions, arguing that Agent Orange was not a chemical or a biological weapon as it was considered a herbicide and a defoliant and it was used in effort to destroy plant crops and to deprive the enemy of concealment and not meant to target human beings.

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Dioxins from Agent Orange have persisted in the Vietnamese environment since the war, settling in the soil and sediment and entering the food chain through animals and fish which feed in the contaminated areas.

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Attorney Hy Mayerson was an early pioneer in Agent Orange litigation, working with environmental attorney Victor Yannacone in 1980 on the first class-action suits against wartime manufacturers of Agent Orange.

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Hartz's deposition was one of the first ever taken in America, and the first for an Agent Orange trial, for the purpose of preserving testimony at trial, as it was understood that Hartz would not live to see the trial because of a brain tumor that began to develop while he was a member of Tiger Force, special forces, and LRRPs in Vietnam.

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Many veterans who were victims of Agent Orange exposure were outraged the case had been settled instead of going to court and felt they had been betrayed by the lawyers.

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In 2004, Monsanto spokesman Jill Montgomery said Monsanto should not be liable at all for injuries or deaths caused by Agent Orange, saying: "We are sympathetic with people who believe they have been injured and understand their concern to find the cause, but reliable scientific evidence indicates that Agent Orange is not the cause of serious long-term health effects.

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The project studied dioxin levels in blood as well as in adipose tissue in a small group of Vietnam veterans who had been exposed to Agent Orange and compared them to those of a matched control group; the levels were found to be higher in the exposed group.

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In 2011, an appraisal of the 20-year long Air Force Health Study that began in 1982 indicates that the results of the AFHS as they pertain to Agent Orange, do not provide evidence of disease in the Operation Ranch Hand veterans caused by "their elevated levels of exposure to Agent Orange".

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Also in 2005, the Joint Advisory Committee on Agent Orange, made up of representatives of Vietnamese and U S government agencies, was established.

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Agent Orange concluded Agent Orange was not considered a poison under international law at the time of its use by the U S ; the U S was not prohibited from using it as a herbicide; and the companies which produced the substance were not liable for the method of its use by the government.

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On February 17, 2011, the Toronto Star revealed that Agent Orange had been employed to clear extensive plots of Crown land in Northern Ontario.

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An analysis of chemicals present in the island's soil, together with resolutions passed by Guam's legislature, suggest that Agent Orange was among the herbicides routinely used on and around Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Agana.

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Use of Agent Orange has been controversial in New Zealand, because of the exposure of New Zealand troops in Vietnam and because of the production of herbicide used in Agent Orange which has been alleged at various times to have been exported for use in the Vietnam War and to other users by the Ivon Watkins-Dow chemical plant in Paritutu, New Plymouth.

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Agent Orange was tested by the United States in Thailand during the Vietnam War.

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In 1971, the C-123 aircraft used for spraying Agent Orange were returned to the United States and assigned various East Coast USAF Reserve squadrons, and then employed in traditional airlift missions between 1972 and 1982.

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Agent Orange was sprayed on thousands of acres of brush in the Tennessee Valley for 15 years before scientists discovered the herbicide was dangerous.

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The Veteran Administration has acknowledged that Agent Orange was used domestically by U S forces in test sites throughout the United States.

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