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Synthesis/Regeneration 7-8   (Summer 1995)

War, Herbicides, Pesticides

Many of us first learned of dioxin from news stories of pesticide usage—either weed killers at home or Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Authors for this section cover the spectrum of views on Vietnam. Many thought it was a terribly mistaken foreign policy; others saw it as an integral part of US imperialism; some felt their patriotic duty was to fight communism. Despite these sharply differing perspectives, the authors share a common belief that the Vietnamese people, US military personnel, and civilians the world over have been victimized by chemical manufacturers who concealed their knowledge of dioxin contamination from pesticides.

The stories in this section illustrate the human side to scientific data which quantifies diseases related to dioxin. What is perhaps the most shocking aspect to this part of the dioxin story is that so little has changed as a result of our knowledge—combatants and civilians continue to be exposed to chlorinated compounds while government and industry seem mainly concerned with covering up their actions.

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