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Yesterday the Vietnamese victims of agent orange/dioxin appealed a 2005 ruling which denied them class action status  (233page PDF of the opinion) VVAO vs. Dow etc. in which the defendants used the "government contractor defense."

Never mind that

"The initial government criteria for defoliation agents stated that the selected agent should "be safe to handle while in storage, shipment or operation . . . [and] . . . should not be injurious to the health of man and animals who come in contact with it during and after military applications."

Never mind that as early as 1954 there were questions being raised regarding the toxicity of dioxin and that

In February 1964, at Dow’s plant in Midland, Michigan, more than 40 workers developed chloracne, some quite severe, due to the presence of dioxin. Dow believed at the time that extreme exposure to dioxin could result in "general organ toxicity," as well as "psychopathological," and "other systemic problems." A58 (FAC ¶106). As a result of this experience with chloracne, Dow decided to explicitly inform the other defendants of its experiences and knowledge, going back to the 1940s. It organized a meeting in Midland, Michigan in March, 1965, at which it shared all this information with the other defendants.

Never mind that,

As the government asked the chemical companies to produce more and more herbicide as the war escalated, whatever quality control that may have existed became non-existent. With greater demand, the companies in effect sped up their production line, which led to higher temperatures and pressure in the production process. Defendants knew from the experiences of Boehringer and another German company, Badische, that higher temperatures and pressure lead to greater dioxin content. After Boehringer shut down its plant in the 1950’s due to dioxin contamination, it discovered why dioxin was formed and how to avoid it. The company later reopened its plant and managed to keep dioxin levels at a reasonably low level. This new process involved keeping an upper temperature limit of between 150 and 155 degrees Centigrade. In Boehringer’s system, an alarm would go off when the temperature rose above 157 degrees. This meant that the reaction to form TCP (when dioxin is normally produced) took 12 to 13 hours, much longer than with higher temperatures. Boehringer shared this information with the chemical companies in 1957, after it had experienced a measure of success in avoiding dioxin formation. ...Though defendants knew in the 1950s that decreasing temperature in the autoclave reaction would greatly lower levels of dioxin in their 2,4,5-T, they intentionally and deliberately failed to follow these precautions.
Dow’s reaction temperature during the early 1960s ran as high as 212 to 225 degrees, nowhere near the safe level of 150 degrees, and the reaction took only 45 minutes. ...The reason for this was that lowering the temperature of the reaction and therefore slowing down the process would have cost more and taken longer.

All quotes from the current brief. Read the entire brief here

They FUCKING knew.
They helped write the specifications and they knew it was contaminated. They knew how to control the contamination but that would have cut into their profits.

They FUCKING knew.

The kicker:

From Australian news

The United States maintains there is no scientifically proven link between the wartime spraying and the more than three million people Vietnam says are disabled by dioxin over three generations.

Also see the Zumwalt report

We (VFP chapter 72) did an information picket at the federal courthouse in Portland in support of the VVAO's appeal. Part of it was a set of pictures of AO victims. In preparing this display, it was my job to download and print the pictures. It was all I could do to not puke seeing the devastating effects AO had on the Vietnamese. Just google "Agent orange victims" images, I won't post any here. Of interest is there were a set of pictures ofROK vets who were also victims of AO.

In 2006, the Seoul High Court ruled two US makers, the Dow Chemical and the Monsanto, to pay more than 63 million USD to 6,800 Korean AO/dioxin victims and their relatives.

They FUCKING knew.

Pegged again.

Originally posted to Bend Over Here It Comes Again on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:29 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes I got the news this morning (21+ / 0-)

    The doctor told so
    They killed me in Vietnam
    And I didn't even know

    -Agent Orange
    Country Joe

    Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times. My reply: Yes, I learned how to cry.
    Joe Galloway

    by BOHICA on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:33:30 AM PDT

  •  Disgusting pigs. (8+ / 0-)

    They killed my dear, late Vietnam veteran friend, too. He told me when they sprayed Agent Orange in the jungle it felt so cool they rubbed it into their skin. This VA doctor deliberately let my friend die of adrenal cancer by delaying treatment. The doctor said he delayed  because of "scarce resources." Adrenal cancer is associated with Agent Orange and is so fast-moving it is often treated as an emergency. To save money, they just let him waste away.

    Despite his untreated PTSD and depression, he was the kindest, most generous person I've ever known. He's been gone more than a year, and I still miss him. The fuckers killed him on purpose for money.

    These greedy bastards need to be make restitution, and it should bankrupt the corporation. The world would be a better place.

    Thank you, BOHICA, for this horrible information.

    "This chamber reeks of blood." -- Sen George McGovern, 1970

    by cotterperson on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:48:46 AM PDT

  •  Ain't that (8+ / 0-)

    bad . . .

    Nguyen Van Dung, 38, and his family have lived just outside the air base since 1990. Dung used to bring home fish he caught in Lotus Lake.

    At about age 2, his daughter began manifesting grotesque health problems.

    Now 7, Nguyen Thi Kieu Nhung's shin bones curve sharply and appear to be broken in several places, as though smashed with a hammer. Her right shoulder bone protrudes unnaturally, stretching her skin. She has only two teeth, her right eye bulges from its socket and she has sores on her face. She can't walk; she can only slide around on her rear end.

    When her mother, Luu Thi Thu, changes her daughter's shirt, Nhung screams in pain.

    This is so appalling.

    "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:54:21 AM PDT

  •  My friend died in Boston in 78 (6+ / 0-)

    Still trying to get the VA to admit his illness was service connected.

    He was the guy who dumped bags of the stuff into tanks and mixed it with water with a firehose and a canoe paddle at Da Nang.

    Chloracne was the least of his problems.

    They are gonna do the same with PTSD if they get a chance.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:57:15 AM PDT

  •  Sen. Hagel on the appeal (12+ / 0-)
    Vietnamese AO victim's compensation overdue: US Senator

    Influential US Senator and Vietnam war veteran Chuck Hagel said that the
    consequences of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin sprayed by US troops during the
    war are far reaching and must be resolved soon.

    In an interview with the BBC regarding the oral arguments by Vietnamese
    AO victims, to be heard at the US Court of Appeals in New York on June
    18, Senator Chuck Hagel said that he supported compensation for the
    millions of people living inside Vietnam that are still afflicted with
    severe health problems.

    Senator Hagel, who has a seat on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations
    Committee, said that the US government should send working groups to
    Vietnam to step up their aid to the Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims.

    Meanwhile, toxoligy expert Prof. Arnold Schecter from the Texas Medical
    University, stressed that AO/dioxins have led to degenerations of health
    among Vietnamese people who have been exposed to the herbicides.

    Earlier, on June 14, Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims attended a meeting
    with several US congressmen at the headquarters of the House of
    Representatives. In the meeting, Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of
    the US House Judiciary Committee, apologised for the pain and suffering
    that the Vietnamese war and Agent Orange victims have endured. (VNA)

    Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times. My reply: Yes, I learned how to cry.
    Joe Galloway

    by BOHICA on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:03:21 AM PDT

  •  How can you be so sure they really knew, or (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    that "They" even gave a Fuk about Agent Orange ? Different scientists do different tests and come up with different results..Do youse seee how that worketh....Next thing we know you will be bad rapping about "Depleted" Uranium or some other innocuous weapon system that saves contless Amerikan lives and that is unacceptable and's depleted, so how can that hurt anyone..? So what if a few 1000 Nam vets die every year at an early age with strange blood dyscrasias, they should be proud to die for their country like tobeee keeeth and the NASCAR crowd..And we cant even count the number of Viet Namese that died and are still feeling the effects, cause they aint white or Christian..And then Vietnamese started it too with that Tonkin Gulf Incident..Wink, wink and they didnt even have no Oil, we just did it for the Hell of it..Ooops, another Domino fell over..Oh my gawd

    "Better a little late, than a little never"..Oscar Madison

    by Johnny Rapture on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:06:27 AM PDT

  •  "no one could have predicted" (4+ / 0-)

    that exposure to a brew of indiscriminantly dropped herbicides & defoliates on huge swathes of living forests populated with animals including humans could possibly cause:

    chloracne, soft tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A link has also been found to diabetes, in a study by the Institute of Medicine.[2] Diseases with limited evidence of an association with Agent Orange are respiratory cancers, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, Porphyria cutanea tarda (a type of skin disease), acute and subacute transient peripheral neuropathy, spina bifida, Type 2 diabetes, and acute myelogenous leukemia found only in the second or third generation. Diseases with inadequate or insufficient evidence of an association are hepatobiliary cancers, nasal or nasopharyngeal cancers, bone cancer, female reproductive cancers, renal cancer, testicular cancer, leukemia, spontaneous abortion, birth defects, neonatal or infant death and stillbirths, low birth weight, childhood cancers, abnormal sperm parameters, cognitive neuropsychiatric disorders, ataxia, peripheral nervous system disorders, circulatory disorders, respiratory disorders, skin cancers, urinary and bladder cancer. Diseases with limited or suggestive evidence of no association are gastrointestinal tumors such as stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and rectal cancer, and brain tumors. [3]

    "we thought corporations would protect us"

  •  They knew. It had been tested in Canada before it (4+ / 0-)

    was ever dropped. They also tested an Agent Purple and that was so deadly they stopped that. There are Canadians to this day{mostly Natives} that live with the results and the land is still useless.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:39:39 AM PDT

  •  Known since 1897, with link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jen, One Pissed Off Liberal

    I've been more concerned about chlorine products in the environment than with global warming ........My late mother was a chemist. She said the profit margin in chemical industry is astounding. Chemicals are [too] cheap.

    Many thanks for doing this diary. I hope to see followup.

    Last night I met a number of Vietnam vets wearing big orange ribbons in support of the Vietnamese pursuit of justice. It seems the courtroom was packed with huge overflow crowd, too.

  •  ACTION! (4+ / 0-)

    Phone White House
    Comments:   202-456-1111

    Get some easy talking points here--
    Online Petition:

  •  Lost a friend who was a medic in Vietnam (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dreaming of Better Days

    to Agent Orange.

    There are no words.....

  •  where were the scientists? (0+ / 0-)

    One thing that's always shocked me, or at least piqued my interest, was that none of the scientists who came up with all this info pre-war bothered to step up and make this known.  Couldn't any of them have taken a minute to pick up the phone and tell a newspaper?  Or call the Pentagon and tell them that a cancer-causing substance was being rained down on the troops?  Surely someone would have taken an interest.  If they all just quietly sat back then they participated in the cover up as much as any corporate accountant did.  Why hasn't anyone gone back and interviewed these guys to ask why they didn't blow the whistle?

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