Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Battle Over an Engineered Crop
Published: April 25, 2012

To Jody Herr, it was a telltale sign that one of his tomato fields had been poisoned by 2,4-D, the powerful herbicide that was an ingredient in Agent Orange, the Vietnam War defoliant.

Farmers in Kasbeer, Ill., with Monsanto’s Roundup, a popular herbicide that some say has been used too often to control weeds.

“The leaves had curled and the plants were kind of twisting rather than growing straight,” Mr. Herr said of the 2009 incident on his vegetable farm in Lowell, He is convinced the chemical, as well as another herbicide called dicamba, had wafted through the air from farms near two miles away.

Mr. Herr recalled the incident because he is concerned that the Dow Chemical company is on the verge of winning regulatory approval for corn that is genetically engineered to be immune to 2,4-D, allowing farmers to spray the chemical to kill weeds without harming the corn stalks.

That would be a welcome development for corn farmers like Brooks Hurst of Tarkio, Mo., who are coping with runaway weeds that can no longer be controlled by Roundup, the herbicide of choice for the last decade.

Research shows how PCBs promote dendrite growth, may increase autism risk
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — New research from UC Davis and Washington State Univ shows that PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, launch a cellular chain of events that leads to an overabundance of dendrites — the filament-like projections that conduct electrochemical signals between neurons — and disrupts normal patterns of neuronal connections in the brain.
"Dendrite growth and branching during early development is a finely orchestra process, and the presence of certain PCBs confuses the conductor of that process," said Pamela Lein, a developmental neurobiologist and professor of molecular biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. "Impaired neuronal connectivity is a common feature of a number of conditions, including autism spectrum disorders."

Reported today in two related studies in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the findings underscore the developing brain's vulnerability to environmental exposures and demonstrate how PCBs could add to autism risk.

Source: University of California - Davis Health System


Tell the USDA to Keep Agent Orange Corn Off Your Plate
Tell the USDA to Keep Agent Orange Corn Off Your Plate
By Food Democracy Now
Source: Food Democracy NowTuesday, April 24, 2012
The first generation of biotech crops has failed. And failed badly.
In the last year alone, new studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-engineered Bt insecticide corn has not only created a new breed superbugs tolerant of the plant’s genetically engineered insecticide, but that those Bt toxins have also been found in the blood of 93 percent of woman and 80 percent of fetal blood samples in a Canadian study, despite Monsanto's claims that this was not be possible.
At the same time, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn and soybeans and their flagship herbicide have been linked to an increase in crop disease and livestock infertility. If that weren't enough, the excessive use of Roundup has led to the rampant rise of superweeds, which have grown tolerant to the herbicide and have infested millions of acres of farmland, threatening the livelihoods of America’s farmers.
Now, Dow Chemical is petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the approval of a new genetically engineered “Agent Orange” corn that tolerates the extremely toxic chemical herbicide 2,4-D, a major component of the Vietnam War era defoliant Agent Orange.
Numerous studies have linked exposure to 2,4-D to major health problems that include cancer (particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), lowered sperm counts, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, dozens of peer-reviewed studies have found the use of 2,4-D to contribute to hormone-disrupting activity linked to reproductive problems and thyroid dysfunction.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hearing Targets “Report On Carcinogens”

Dow, one of the manufactures of Agent Orange, invited to Congressional hearing.

(WASHINGTION, DC) – The Report on Carcinogens (ROC) is a congressionally mandated, science-based, public health report that identifies agents, substances, mixtures, or exposures in the environment that put people at increased risk for cancer.

Published biennially, each edition of the report is cumulative and consists of substances newly reviewed in addition to those listed in previous editions. The latest edition was published on June 10, 2011. The 13th ROC is under development.

Most Americans concerned about the health effects of environmental exposures and the increased risk of cancer would no doubt agree that the ROC is worthy effort to fund.

The ROC is not in the same category as the ‘bridge to nowhere’ or funding for the sexual life of bees. This is a serious scientific report that identifies environmental exposures that increase our risk of cancer.

The House of Representatives Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare & Technology hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25th. The subject is: “How the Report on Carcinogens Uses Science to Meet its Statutory Obligations and its Impact on Small business Jobs.”

Given the high unemployment rate and the small business engine that generates jobs, something that impacts small business jobs would naturally be of interest to Congress. But, targeting a scientific report that identifies environmental carcinogens is beyond the pale.

Autism Awareness Month

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause social, communication, and behavioral challenges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. has an ASD.

While there are no proven cures for autism spectrum disorders, research has shown that early treatment can greatly reduce symptoms and increase a child's ability to grow and learn new skills.

Autism Awareness Month helps to increase knowledge and understanding about ASDs. Here are just a few resources to help you learn more about autism spectrum disorders:

Common Signs of ASD
Early Intervention and Types of Treatment
Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Monday, April 23, 2012

'Garbage' chemical TCP threatens Valley water
Memo shows Dow knew TCP was useless but used it anyway.
by Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee
A 1974 memo from Dow Chemical describes several chemicals in a widely used farm fumigant as "garbage." Today, one of those useless chemicals threatens drinking water for more than 1 million people across the San Joaquin Valley.

Now linked to cancer, the toxin was waste from a plastic-making process. Chemical companies often mix such leftovers to create other products to avoid the cost of disposal, says one long-time chemical engineer.

The fumigant manufacturers, Dow and Shell Oil Co., discovered decades ago that 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, was not effective against worms called nematodes, according to documents in lawsuits filed by a dozen Valley cities against the companies. But they apparently left it in a fumigant anyway.

"TCP was a hazardous waste, not a pesticide," said lawyer Todd Robins, who represents several Valley cities and water agencies. "It did nothing for farmers, but Shell and Dow knowingly used their fumigants as a way to dispose of it."

A Dow representative disputes the lawyer's statement, saying TCP never was intentionally put into the fumigant, called Telone. Nor did the company allow TCP to remain in the fumigant, he said.

Read more here:

Agent Orange History, Science, and the Politics of Uncertainty A probing reassessment of a controversial legacy of the Vietnam War
Edwin A. Martini
Taking on what one former U.S. ambassador called “the last ghost of the Vietnam War,” this book examines the far-reaching impact of Agent Orange, the most infamous of the dioxin-contaminated herbicides used by American forces in Southeast Asia. Edwin A. Martini’s aim is not simply to reconstruct the history of the “chemical war” but to investigate the ongoing controversy over the short- and long-term effects of weaponized defoliants on the environment of Vietnam, on the civilian population, and on the troops who fought on both sides.

Beginning in the early 1960s, when Agent Orange was first deployed in Vietnam, Martini follows the story across geographical and disciplinary boundaries, looking for answers to a host of still unresolved questions. What did chemical manufacturers and American policymakers know about the effects of dioxin on human beings, and when did they know it? How much do scientists and doctors know even today? Should the use of Agent Orange be considered a form of chemical warfare? What can, and should, be done for U.S. veterans, Vietnamese victims, and others around the world who believe they have medical problems caused by Agent Orange?

Martini draws on military records, government reports, scientific research, visits to contaminated sites, and interviews to disentangle conflicting claims and evaluate often ambiguous evidence. He shows that the impact of Agent Orange has been global in its reach affecting individuals and communities in New Zealand, Australia, Korea, and Canada as well as Vietnam and the United States. Yet for all the answers it provides, this book also reveals how much uncertainty—scientific, medical, legal, and political—continues to surround the legacy of Agent Orange.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vietnam Veterans of America Applauds VA Decision To Hire More Mental Health Professionals


April 20, 2012

No. 12-08
Contact: Mokie Porter

Vietnam Veterans of America Applauds VA Decision To Hire More Mental Health Professionals

(Washington, D.C.) “We salute VA Secretary Shinseki for taking action to hire 1,600 new mental health clinicians to move toward better meeting the needs of veterans of every generation,” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America, in response to the announcement that he has ordered the Department of Veterans Affairs to immediately hire an additional 1,600 mental-health professionals and 300 administrative support staff at VA Medical Centers around the country.

“It is very important that the Secretary ensure these clinicians are properly oriented to the needs of veterans, particularly those with combat-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma,” Rowan said. “The ongoing medical education of the VA staff is critical to their effectiveness in the treatment and care for veterans suffering from neuropsychiatric wounds.

“The VA must ensure that all clinicians are trained in the best evidence-based medicine for accurate diagnosis and assessment of PTSD, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science in a series of studies commissioned in 2006 and 2007 by the VA. It does no good to move toward a proper a level of staffing if the VA does not follow the best recommended medical procedures for accurate diagnoses and assessments of PTSD,” noted Rowan. (To read the IOM studies, go to: .

When asked over the last six years why the VA is not doing the proper psychological testing to accurately diagnose PTSD, Veterans Health Administration officials at VA headquarters responded that it is “too expensive.” Local clinicians at VA medical centers have responded to the same question by noting that they do not have enough staff to do the proper testing. VVA contends that this failure is jeopardizing the recovery of veterans. Effective treatment is dependent upon an accurate and complete diagnosis.

“If we do not do the proper diagnosis of PTSD because it is ‘too expensive,’ what’s next as a cost-saving measure?” Rowan asked. “It can be argued that, without an accurate diagnosis and assessment, it is hit-or-miss as to whether the mental-health clinicians are then applying the proper treatment modalities for PTSD for the individual veteran. One size does not fit all.”

Said Rowan, “VVA will continue to work with Secretary Shinseki, with the VA’s mental health leadership, and with our allies in Congress to ensure that veterans receive the best available treatment for PTSD and MST.”

Records reveal Agent Orange used in B.C. Interior
By Lachlan Labere - Eagle Valley News
Published: April 18, 2012 10:00 AM
Updated: April 18, 2012 10:43 AM

Larry Heal believes he has been suffering the effects of exposure to industrial herbicides used in the province during in the 1960's and ’70s.

In 1964, the U.S. military was already two years into its herbicidal warfare program known as Operation Ranch Hand, spraying millions of acres of the Vietnamese landscape with defoliating chemical agents referred to as the rainbow herbicides: Agents Pink, Green, Blue, White, Purple and Orange.

Heal, who currently resides in Malakwa, says he was exposed to similar chemicals during his childhood in Cherryville, and that he has been suffering ailments of one kind or another ever since. He found some relief this month, though, with the release of a CTV news exposé, in which the news organization purports to have “several hundred pages of documents” that support the story Heal has been telling for years: herbicide combinations that comprise Agent Orange and other rainbow herbicides were used by the B.C. government around power lines near his family home in Cherryville.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pressure to reduce VA disability claims may cause more delays, advocates warn
By Steve Vogel

With the Department of Veterans Affairs facing a growing backlog of more than 900,000 disability claims, advocates for veterans warned Wednesday that pressure by the VA to reduce the numbers will increase the number of mistakes it makes.

The number of pending claims before the VA stood at 903,000 this week, up 50,000 from January and an increase of about one-half million from three years ago, numbers driven by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with complex injuries, and a policy change making it easier for Vietnam veterans to file Agent Orange-related claims.

“The tidal wave of claims coming in on VA is putting unprecedented demand on VA,” Paul Sullivan, representing the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee at a hearing on the disability claims process.

“When VA focuses attention on expediting new claims, VA exacerbates the already bad situation by increasing the error rate, leading to even more appeals and even longer delays,” Sullivan added.


Study: EPA-approved GMO insecticide responsible for killing off bees, contaminating entire food chain
(NaturalNews) Early last year, leaked documents obtained by a Colorado beekeeper exposed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) illegitimate approval of clothianidin, a highly-toxic pesticide manufactured by Bayer CropScience that the regulatory agency knew was capable of killing off bees ( Now, a new study out of Purdue University in Indiana has not only confirmed, once again, that clothianidin is killing off bees, but also that clothianidin's toxicity is systemic throughout the entire food chain, which could one day lead to the catastrophic destruction of the food supply.

The study, which was published in the online journal PLoS ONE, investigated the various methods and routes by which a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which includes clothianidin, are harming honey bees. They discovered that both clothianidin and thiamethoxam, another component of neonicotinoid insecticides, persist in "extremely high levels" in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of crops treated with these insecticides, which runs contrary to industry claims that the chemicals biodegrade and are not a threat.

Sources for this article include:

Learn more:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Faces of Agent Orange on FACEBOOK

Okinawa bases stored toxic defoliant, ex-soldier says - U.S. vet pries lid off Agent Orange denials By JON MITCHELLSpecial to The Japan TimesJACKSONVILLE, Florida — Thousands of barrels of Agent Orange were unloaded on Okinawa Island and stored at the port of Naha, and at the U.S. military's Kadena and Camp Schwab bases between 1965 and 1966, an American veteran who served in Okinawa claims.
In an interview in early April with The Japan Times and Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting Co., a TV network based in Okinawa, former infantryman Larry Carlson, 67, also said that Okinawan stevedores were exposed to the highly toxic herbicide as they labored in the holds of ships, and that he even saw it being sprayed at Kadena Air Base.

Carlson is one of only three American servicemen who have won benefits from the U.S. government over exposure to the toxic defoliant on Okinawa — and the first of them to step forward and reveal that massive amounts of it were kept on the island.


We Petition the Obama Administration to:

INVESTIGATE FULLY WITH TESTIMONY FROM VETERANS ON THE USE OF AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES ON GUAM AND ADD GUAM TO AO LOCATION We petition the Obama administration: Investigation for Full Disclosure of Where and When Agent Orange Herbicides were used Outside of Vietnam to Include Guam This petition is for a full investigation into all of the locations where agent orange herbicides were used and when they were used. Because of destroyed military records for routine base maintenance, any documentation was lost. Because of the importance of this issue affecting veterans and their families plus future generations of Americans, this petition should be given the highest priority within the Whitehouse staff. This petition can coincide with Senator Gillibrand's investigation into Agent Orange herbicide use and HR2634 VICTIMS OF AGENT ORANGE. here to sign the petition Created: Apr 14, 2012!/petition/investigate-fully-testimony-veterans-use-agent-orange-herbicides-guam-and-add-guam-ao-location/HCFmr7Yj?


Greetings!You can help us continue to provide parent information, education, support services, parent networking and gift bags for families of newborns with birth defects and research through the National Birth Defect Registry. From April 21-May 12th, Birth Defect Research for Children will be offering Blossoms for Babies, packets of seeds for butterfly gardens for a $2.00 donation. These are a wonderful gift to tuck into a Mother's Day card. We need volunteers to help raise funds with Blossoms for Babies through contacting friends, family, church or social groups or asking a local merchant if you can set up a booth for a day.
If you can help, please for more information.
Sincerely, Betty Mekdeci
Mother's Day for BabiesBlossoms for Babies Butterlies The most wonderful gift you can give any mother is a healthy baby. Funds raised from Blossoms for Babies help to support the National Birth Defect Registry recently described by the Director of the EPA "as the type of effort needed to make linkages between environmental exposures and birth defects". Help us find the answers to birth defects that could be prevented by joining the national effort to make this Mother's Day a tribute to having healthier babies. You can order butterfly garden seeds for yourself on-line through our donation link (there is a $10 minimum for online donations). Or you can contact us for a Blossoms for Babies donation package and help us raise funds by offering seeds in your community.
Where & WhenApril 21-May 12Your HometownContact or call 407-895-0802 for more information about how you can help. If you would like to order seeds for yourself right now, send your name, address, number of seed packets along with a check for $2.00 per packet to Birth Defect Research for Children, 976 Lake Baldwin Lane, Suite 104, Orlando FL 32814. If you would like to charge your Blossoms for Babies online DIRECT DONATION and write the number of seed packets you want to order in the information box. There is a minimum $10 donation for online charges. Thank you for your continued support of Birth Defect Research for Children.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dioxin! What citizens, workers and policymakers should know Interview with Dr Linda Birnbaum on April 19, 2004. At the time she was Director of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Environment Toxicology Division. In 2010 she became Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Watch the Video:

Did New Plymouth (NZ) Manufacture Agent Orange for the Pentagon? (This is the second of four blogs about the government cover-up of major health problems related to the production of dioxin-related chemicals at Dow AgroSciences in New Plymouth between 1948 and 1987) It’s fairly common for the US and other European countries to ask New Zealand, owing to our lax environmental regulations, to manufacture and or test hazardous substances that are too controversial in their own countries. In 2005 the former MP and current mayor of New Plymouth claimed to have leaked documents revealing that New Plymouth’s Ivon Watkins Dow (IWD) plant secretly manufactured 2,4,5-T and 2,4 D for the Pentagon for use as “Agent Orange” in Vietnam. When combined, the two chemicals form large amounts of 2,3,7,8 TCDD, also known as dioxin. In 1969, around the same time the US embassy complained about high dioxin residues in beef and lamb exports, the US ended their use of Agent Orange to defoliate Vietnamese jungles. Contrast New Zealand, where the Government introduced a subsidy (in 1969) to encourage increased production and use of 2,4,5-T READ MORE:

Friday, April 13, 2012

"It was not done out of any maliciousness. But that doesn't in any way alleviate the responsibility that we have to the future generations that are going to suffer from this exposure." - Jack McManus

Jack McManus of Vietnam Veterans of America was part of Operation Ranch Hand during his military service in the Vietnam War. His mission was to spray the herbicide Agent Orange across Vietnam via aircraft. He now works to inform other veterans, their children, and the general public about what Agent Orange was and why the companies that manufactured it need to release more information about how it was made, where it was used and what was in it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

EPA approves 'Agent Orange' pesticide
The Environmental Protection Agency has refused a petition that aimed to ban the sale of a powerful pesticide linked with cancer — and while already available, a surge in sales is expected as scientists ready a new crop resistant to the chemical.

Not only has the EPA rejected a petition that sought to prohibit the domestic sale of the dangerous 2,4-D pesticide — a key ingredient in Agent Orange — but the main manufacturer of the chemical predicts that sales will skyrocket in the coming months. The reason, it would seem, is that Dow Chemicals is awaiting federal approval of a genetically engineered crop they’ve created that will be resistant to 2,4-D.

If approved, farmers will be able to plant the frankencrop corn variant and douse their fields with the pesticide to eliminate unwanted weeds with greater success. Although 2,4-D isn’t currently used to a large degree on corn fields, all that could soon change for the country’s most successful crop. Opponents argue, though, that the potential side effects of the pesticide are enough to push for a ban on 2,4-D altogether.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental watch group, has argued that expose to 2,4-D has caused in some cases cancer, hormone disruption, genetic mutations and neurotoxicity, reports the New York Times. In voting not to hear the petition against the pesticide, however, the EPA says that they believe there to be a lack of evidence that would be significant enough to raise suspicion.

“After considering public comment received on the petition and all the available studies, EPA is denying the request to revoke all tolerances and the request to cancel all registrations,” the agency says in their explanation this week.

According to the National Resources Defense Council, the truth behind the toxicity of the chemical is quite the contrary.

“This dangerous pesticide is lurking all over the place – from ball fields and golf courses, to front lawns and farms – exposing an enormous amount of the American public to cancer and other serious health risks,” NRDC senior scientist Dr. Gina Solomon wrote earlier this year. “There’s no reason to continue allowing a toxic Agent Orange-ingredient in the places our children play, our families live and our farmers work. EPA must step up and finally put a stop to it.”

America’s Debt to Vietnam
The Marines came ashore at Da Nang, on the central coast of Vietnam, on March 8, 1965. By the next year, the beachfront and the air base alongside had become a vast, ugly sprawl of tents, trucks, half-tracks, spare parts, fuel drums, helicopters, and airplanes. Old photographs depict a plain of expeditionary military engineering; the gravel-bedded, metal-roofed, fenced-in look anticipated eerily the American bases that today dot Afghanistan.
Earlier this year, the Da Nang airport opened a new international terminal. The building has soaring glass walls, digital clocks, a Burger King, and a Tommy Hilfiger store. When I visited the area last week, hammers clanked and machines roared along the nearby ocean, at construction sites for luxury hotels and tile-roofed golf villas facing what American soldiers once knew as China Beach. Hyatt is one of the recently arrived chains.

Read more

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

EPA Paves Way for "Agent Orange" GM Corn
By Common Dreams Staff
10 April 12
The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition to ban the sale of the 2,4-D pesticide, a major ingredient in the Vietnam-era defoliant 'Agent Orange'. Despite its current widespread availability, use of 2,4-D could skyrocket soon because its main manufacturer, Dow Chemical, is hoping to receive approval to sell genetically modified corn seeds that are resistant to 2,4-D.
"Dow's 'Agent Orange' corn will trigger a large increase in 2,4-D use - and our exposure to this toxic herbicide - yet USDA has not assessed how much, nor analyzed the serious harm to human health, the environment or neighboring farms," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. The decision from the EPA came in response to a lawsuit from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in January of this year, who filed the suit after the EPA refused to respond to a petition the environmental group first submitted in 2008.
"This dangerous pesticide is lurking all over the place - from ball fields and golf courses, to front lawns and farms - exposing an enormous amount of the American public to cancer and other serious health risks," NRDC senior scientist Dr. Gina Solomon said, during the announcement of the move in January. "There's no reason to continue allowing a toxic Agent Orange-ingredient in the places our children play, our families live and our farmers work. EPA must step up and finally put a stop to it."
The EPA's decision on Monday, however, rejected the idea that 2,4-D was a health or "safety" threat, and even pointed to a Dow Chemical conducted study to support their decision.
The Center for Food Safety, who worked alongside NRDC to push the ban, expressed deep concern for the increased use of 2,4-D if Dow's new corn seeds are approved. "Dow's 'Agent Orange' corn will trigger a large increase in 2,4-D use - and our exposure to this toxic herbicide - yet USDA has not assessed how much, nor analyzed the serious harm to human health, the environment or neighboring farms," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. "This novel corn will foster resistant weeds that require more toxic pesticides to kill, followed by more resistance and more pesticides - a chemical arms race in which the only winners are pesticide/biotechnology firms."

STAFFORD — It has been more than 40 years but the memories of war are still vivid for Mike Capozzoli, a decorated U.S. Army combat medic who served in Vietnam in 1969.
While in Vietnam, the 64-year-old Capozzoli was surprised to meet up with childhood friend Joe Frady, 63, of Toms River, who he had worked with at a golf course in Neptune when they were teenagers.
“When I saw Joe, I said: ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ It was a real surprise,’’ Capozzoli said.
Capozzoli, Frady, and Frank Cannon, 62, of New Brunswick spent hours reminiscing recently at Capozzoli’s residence. The men served in the same platoon in Army Alpha Company, First Battalion, 18th Infantry, First Infantry Division.
The impulse to reconnect with old war buddies came from Capozzoli. It was 2005, and he was sick. It was an illness linked to his days in Vietnam and exposure to Agent Orange, and it cost him one of his lungs.
NOTE: AOZ served in Bravo Company, 1/18, 1st Infantry Division during the same time period

EPA to discuss plans for Mississippi cleanup site
The Associated Press
FLOWOOD, Miss. -- The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public meeting Thursday in Flowood to discuss the initial plans for cleaning up an industrial site.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Flowood Pavillion.
The EPA put the former Sonford Products site in Rankin County on the Superfund list in 2007.
The EPA says the site has soil contaminated with pentachlorophenol (PCP), lindane, dioxin, arsenic, lead and dibenzofuran compounds.
The site is 200 feet from a residential area in Flowood, an eastern suburb of Jackson.
The federal Superfund program cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.
Sonford operated two chemical plants at the site from 1972-1985, the EPA said.
One plant produced sodium pentachlorophenate and also broke down 2,000-pound blocks of PCP that were used for wood treatment after processing. The plant was closed in 1980 after an employee died from poisoning because of exposure to high levels of PCP.
Sonford Products also broke down PCP for use in wood treatment and produced pest- and mold-control products.
Besides contaminated soil, wetlands on the site are contaminated.
Read more here:

Help stop the poisoning of Oregon’s paradise Guest viewpoint
By Amy Pincus Merwin

Appeared in print: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, page A9

I am a survivor of Oregon’s Agent Orange war. I was never in Vietnam, but in 1980 I moved to Deadwood valley and was exposed to Agent Orange (2,4-D and 2,4,5-T) and its mutagenic byproduct, TCDD dioxin. I live with all the health issues of a Vietnam vet.

Agent Orange was used in Oregon’s national forests because Oregon State University professor Mike Newton, the godfather of forestry pesticides, changed the forestry model from clear-cut and slash-burn to clear-cut and spray, spray, spray. Oregon’s forests are no longer slash-burned, yet clear-cuts and intensive, repeated use of poison pesticides is standard practice.

In Lane County from Jan. 1 to March 31 more than 338 spray notices covering thousands of acres were sent to citizen subscribers. This pattern is repeated on corporate forests in every Oregon timber-producing county.

I attended the March 21 meeting of Oregon’s Pesticide Analytical and Response Center because the members, representing different Oregon agencies, were discussing the suspension of the Oregon Health Authority’s Highway 36/Triangle Lake investigation. I learned that after 33 years, PARC has no protocol for investigating Oregonians’ long-term, low-dose exposure to pesticides; has a backlog of many years of complaints about pesticide exposure that never seem to be addressed or resolved, and has never filled a required citizen-at-large position.

Monsanto Threatens To Sue Entire State Of Vermont Over Food Labeling Bill
Monsanto, that sickening institution behind Agent Orange and strawberries made out of fish and sugar made out of Axe Body Spray,* has claimed and will probably claim until the end of time that you don’t really need to know that your “all-natural” cereal is actually created in a lab. DON’T YOU LIKE IT? Don’t you feel yourself turning into a Transformer? But the state of Vermont is particularly not thrilled about Monsanto’s coquettish behavior, and is trying to pass H. 722, which would require food labels to tell you whether a product is genetically modified, and would prevent that “all-natural” designation from appearing on the packaging of a GMO food, BECAUSE IT ISN’T. The corporation has so much disgusting dirty cash on hand, however, that it has decided to intimidate the people of Vermont — not a timid bunch, mind you — out of proceeding with the bill. The sad thing? It looks like it’s working. Fish strawberries WILL RISE AGAIN.

COMMENT FROM GEORGE CLAXTON-The food labeling proposed legislation in Vermont is quite interesting becase it is a step in the right direction. However, how about extending the proposed legislation to include all BYPRODUCTS in any food. For example, although 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D does not contain dioxin (TCDD), it does contain other less toxic dioxins. 2,4-D was half of the poison known as Agent Orange.

Why shouldn't the manufacturers of food products be forced to tell the truth on all foods that contain chemicals that can be hazardous to human health?
Faithfully submitted
George Claxton


Friday, April 6, 2012

New Data on Autism Spectrum Disorders

CDC estimates 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Track your child's development and act early if you have a concern.

More children than ever before are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Like the many families living with ASDs, CDC considers ASDs an important public health concern. CDC is committed to continuing to provide essential data on ASDs, search for risk factors and causes, and develop resources that help identify children with ASDs as early as possible.

CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities has been tracking ASDs for over a decade through the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The newest estimates from the ADDM Network are based on data collected in 14 areas of the United States during 2008. These 14 communities comprised over eight percent of the United States population of 8-year-olds in 2008. Information was collected on children who were 8 years old because previous work has shown that, by this age, most children with ASDs have been identified for services.

Spontaneous gene glitches linked to autism risk with older dads

from National Institutes of health NIH

Non-inherited mutations spotlight role of environment – NIH-supported study, consortium

Researchers have turned up a new clue to the workings of a possible environmental factor in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): fathers were four times more likely than mothers to transmit tiny, spontaneous mutations to their children with the disorders. Moreover, the number of such transmitted genetic glitches increased with paternal age. The discovery may help to explain earlier evidence linking autism risk to older fathers.

The results are among several from a trio of new studies, supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, finding that such sequence changes in parts of genes that code for proteins play a significant role in ASDs. One of the studies determined that having such glitches boosts a child’s risk of developing autism five to 20 fold.

Taken together, the three studies represent the largest effort of its kind, drawing upon samples from 549 families to maximize statistical power. They reveal sporadic mutations widely distributed across the genome, sometimes conferring risk and sometimes not. While the changes identified don’t account for most cases of illness, they are providing clues to the biology of what are likely multiple syndromes along the autism spectrum.

"These results confirm that it’s not necessarily the size of a genetic anomaly that confers risk, but its location – specifically in biochemical pathways involved in brain development and neural connections. Ultimately, it’s this kind of knowledge that will yield potential targets for new treatments," explained Thomas, R. Insel, M.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which funded one of the studies and fostered development of the Autism Sequencing Consortium, of which all three groups are members.

The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure. For more information, visit

The activities described in this release are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). More information about NIH’s ARRA grant funding opportunities can be found at To track the progress of HHS activities funded through the ARRA, visit To track all federal funds provided through the ARRA, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit