DA NANG, Vietnam --
James R. Clary was a young Air Force officer and scientist who
designed the spray tank for the C-123 cargo planes that dispensed Agent
Orange and other herbicides during the Vietnam War.
years after the conflict ended, with serious concerns being raised in
Congress about the effects of defoliants on veterans’ health, Clary
dropped a startling bombshell: Military scientists had known that
herbicides shipped to Vietnam were contaminated with dioxin and had “the
potential for damage” to human health.
“However, because the
material was to be used on the ‘enemy,’ none of us were overly
concerned,” Clary wrote to then-Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. “We never
considered a scenario in which our own personnel would become
contaminated with the herbicide.”
Agent Orange was produced primarily by the Monsanto Corp. and Dow
Chemical. Both companies say the defoliant was made according to strict
military specifications. “The government specified the chemical
composition of Agent Orange and when, where and how the material was to
be used in the field, including application rates,” Monsanto says.
a 1990 report compiled by Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. for the Department
of Veterans Affairs that recommended compensation for ailing veterans
who’d been exposed to Agent Orange also detailed evidence that Dow
Chemical knew as early as 1964 that dioxin was a “byproduct of the
manufacturing process” and that the dangers of exposure were clear.
READ MORE: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/22/3514456/makers-of-agent-orange-followed.html#storylink=cpy