I’m with Willie. Monsanto has busily endeavored to monopolize seed production worldwide. Their success in India has been linked to over half a million farmer suicides by activists such as Vandana Shiva. GMO corn has ruined seed banks that had been saved for centuries. Watch Food, Inc” or “The Future Of Food ” and educate yourself!
Monsanto Reaches ‘Agent Orange’ Settlement With US Victims
Residents living near a now defunct Monsanto plant in Nitro, West Virginia demand cleanup of toxic legacy
Reports indicate that Monsanto has reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by US residents who say they were poisoned by chemicals used in the manufacturing of the Agent Orange in their town of Nitro, West Virginia. “Poisoned South Asians Don’t Exist” however, in Monsanto’s world view!
According to world-renowned scientist and writer, Sandra Steingraber, there are at least 80,000 toxic chemicals on the market in the United States, and between 4-8.000 of these are carcinogenic. “Today, more than 40 percent of us (38.3 percent of women and 48.2 percent of men) will contract the disease [cancer] in our lifespan. Cancer is now the second leading cause of death overall, and, among adult Americans younger than 85, it is the number one killer—beating out stroke and heart disease.”7
The chemical manufacturers of Agent Orange continue to deny that there’s any valid scientific evidence to support the view that dioxin harms human beings. It’s hard to imagine that their scientists are unaware that every known human carcinogen causes cancer in animals, and that nearly everything that causes birth defects in humans also causes birth defects in animals. The chemical companies must know that after injuries and violence, cancer is the number one killer of American children, and that the world scientific community considers dioxin a carcinogen.
Three million Vietnamese people, including 500,000 children, are suffering from the tragic legacies of chemical warfare. In Vietnam, a third and even fourth generation of Agent Orange babies have been born, and no one really knows when this calamity might end. Far too many US veterans are reaching their late fifties and early sixties, only to become ill and die from the effects of long-term exposure to dioxin in Southeast Asia. We are losing our friends and neighbors, our husbands and wives and children to cancer. This epidemic will continue until we demand that multinational corporations stop dumping toxic chemicals into our air, water, and food supplies.
We are the Vietnamese; they are us. We ignore their suffering at our own peril.
Fred A. Wilcox is the author most recently of Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam with an introduction by Noam Chomsky. His other works include Waiting For an Army To Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange, Fighting the Lamb’s War: The Autobiography of Philip Berrigan, Disciples & Dissidents: Prison Writings of the Prince of Peace Plowshares, Uncommon Martyrs: How the Berrigans and Others Are Turning Swords into Plowshares, and Chasing Shadows: Memoirs of a Sixties Survivor. He is an associate professor in the writing department at Ithaca College.
Recommended citation: Fred A. Wilcox, ‘Dead Forests, Dying People: Agent Orange & Chemical Warfare in Vietnam,’ The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 50 No 3, December 12, 2011.
The Guardian reports:
The long-running suit was brought by residents living near a now defunct Monsanto plant in Nitro, West Virginia that between 1949 and 1971 produced the agricultural herbicide 2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacidic acid, a key ingredient in Agent Orange. […]
The suit – filed on behalf of tens of thousands of people who lived, worked and went to school in Nitro after 1949 – claims that Monsanto spread toxic substances including dioxins, which have been linked to cancer, all over the town.
The plaintiffs say they were exposed to levels of dioxins 100,000 times higher than acceptable levels. “Dioxin is a known human carcinogen and is so hazardous to human health that no “safe” level of exposure has been established,” the suit claims.
It demands ongoing testing for at least 5,000 people who may have been affected by exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The Charleston Gazette reports that the judge in the case, Judge Derek Swope, had raised some questions about the agreement including concerns the man Monsanto suggested administer the medical monitoring program is a former defense expert for the company.
The Charleston Gazette adds:
If a settlement is not agreed upon on Friday, a more extensive jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday, Swope said. Six jurors and six alternates would have to be selected out of the 28-person jury pool.
Mediation efforts last October and December failed to produce a settlement.
Swope warned lawyers on Thursday that a gag order, preventing lawyers from talking with the press about the case, is still being strictly enforced. The judge sealed all documents pertaining to the proposed settlement. He would not talk to a reporter after Thursday’s hearing.