The Dallas Morning News recently reported that the U.S. military conducted secret tests of Agent Orange and other toxic herbicides in Panama in the 1960s and '70s, potentially exposing civilians and soldiers to highly dangerous chemicals. According to eyewitness accounts and documents, hundreds of barrels of Agent Orange were shipped to Panama during the Vietnam War to be tested in simulated tropical battlefield conditions of Southeast Asia. The chemical was a mixture of the herbicides 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T and also contained dioxin generated during formulation of 2,4,5-T. While the two herbicides break down in the environment rather quickly, dioxin is a highly persistent compound that remains in the environment for decades and can cause cancer, birth defects and other health and developmental problems.
The U.S. Southern Command, the operational authority in Panama, said it was not aware of any tests using Agent Orange that had taken place there. However, the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department acknowledged that use of Agent Orange or similar herbicides contributed to the deaths of at least three U.S. servicemen stationed in Panama in the 1960s and '70s. In testimony at a Veterans Affairs hearing regarding one of these cases, a former operations officer for herbicide research at the Army biological research and development laboratories in Maryland stated that "several hundred drums" of Agent Orange were shipped to Panama in the late 1960s.
READ MORE: http://vets4politics.blogspot.com/2008/08/agent-orange-in-panama.html