By Cassandra Anderson - Natural Society
American veterans and the entire country of Viet Nam affected by Agent Orange have been shafted beyond imagination due to corruption within the US government and US courts. US courts have protected Monsanto and Dow Chemical from liability and criminal prosecution. The US government has shielded Monsanto and Dow from the massive cost of medical treatment for victims and environmental remediation cleanup costs that would drive these corporations into bankruptcy.
Before we delve further into the issue, it’s important to detail what exactly dioxin is. Dioxin has a half life of 100 years or more when it is below the surface, leached into soil or embedded in river or stream sediment. Dioxin was generated as a byproduct of herbicide 2,4,5-T made by Monsanto and Dow, the top 2 producers of Agent Orange. It causes cancer, birth defects, liver damage and other major health problems.
Monsanto & Dow’s 2,4,5-T dioxin laden-herbicide was used in the US for agricultural purposes in the 1940′s before it was used for chemical warfare in Viet Nam from the early 1960′s through 1971. It was phased out in the late 1970′s. Now, let’s discuss the political situation behind this carcinogen.
US Government and US Court Dioxin Cover-Ups
Atrocious Criminal Acts By Monsanto & Dow
US Veterans Shafted By the Kangaroo Court
Judge Jack Weinstein of the US Federal Court of the Eastern District of New York committed the following offenses in several class action suits filed by veterans against Monsanto & Dow:
Weinstein’s excuse for the government contractor defense was that if contractors were made to pay, they would pass the cost on to the government, so they were therefore immune. Weinstein’s new law was created from the bench instead of law passed through Congress!
Weinsteins’s law has now been extended to all government supply contractors (even non-military contractors) in the courts.
Approximately 11 million gallons of Agent Orange was dumped on Viet Nam between 1962 to 1970. It is estimated that Agent Orange is responsible for 400,000 deaths, 3 million victims of disease and 500,000 children born with birth defects.
Over 14 million acres of Vietnamese forests were sprayed. Agent Orange was also dumped in water supplies.
In 2004, Vietnamese victims filed a lawsuit against Dow, Monsanto and other manufacturers of Agent Orange. Judge Weinstein (yes, the same Judge Weinstein) presided over this case and dismissed it. Weinstein used the excuse that Monsanto and Dow had government sovereign immunity that extended to them because they were government contractors. He also ruled that Agent Orange was not considered a poison during that period, under international law.
The Supreme Court refused to hear this case, too.
The stated purpose of using Agent Orange was to deny the enemy cover in forested areas through defoliation. However, the US Army did contract studies in 1943 of the effects of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D (the other ingredient of Agent Orange) on cereal grains, including rice, and developed the concept of using aerial herbicide spraying to destroy enemy crops to disrupt the food supply. Obviously, poisoning the enemy, farmland and civilians was a chemical warfare strategy used by the US government.
Currently, there is a court case pending against Monsanto’s dioxin contaminated 2,4,5-T herbicide filed by parties who lived near the plant where it was produced in West Virginia. The judge in that case, Paul G. Gardephe, denied Monsanto immunity! Judge Gardephe asserted that because Monsanto burned dioxin waste in open pits and the US government was not aware of this practice, nor did they evaluate it for hazard, Monsanto’s contractor defense was denied.
Fate of US Veterans
In 2003, the Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision allowing veterans to sue Monsanto, Dow and other Agent Orange manufacturers directly.
The government has responded, under the Obama regime, by passing the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, which allows the automatic funding of veterans’ Agent Orange claims. While Monsanto & Dow appear to have considerable liability, the cost of healthcare and hospitalization of affected veterans is paid by American taxpayers.
More than 2 million Americans served in Viet Nam. The Veterans Administration claims they have no idea how many vets have been treated for Agent Orange injuries, or how much taxpayer money has been spent. The EPA is also involved in the cover-up and has been delaying an assessment report on dioxin since 1985 to protect plastic, chlorine, paper, herbicide and agricultural industries.
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This article first appeared at Natural Society
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