To The Federal Government And The Government Of New Brunswick

Posted on Tuesday, September 27 at 11:29 by Wayne Coady
Army scientists found that by mixing 2,4-D and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) and spraying it on plants, there would be an almost immediate negative effect on the foliage. What they didn't realize, or chose to ignore, was that 2,4,5-T contained dioxin, a useless by-product of herbicide production. It would be twenty more years until concern was raised about dioxin, a chemical the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would later call "one of the most perplexing and potentially dangerous" known to man. February 22, 1965 Dow Chemical Corporation internal memorandum provided a summary of a meeting in which 13 executives discussed the potential hazards of dioxin in 2,4,5-T. Following that meeting, Dow officials decided to meet with other makers of the chemical and formulate a stance on Agent Orange and dioxin. In March 1965, Dow official V.K. Rowe convened a meeting of executives of Monsanto, Hooker Chemical, which operated the Love Canal dump, Diamond Alkali, the forerunner of Diamond-Shamrock, and the Hercules Powder Co., which later became Hercules, Inc. According to documents uncovered only years later, the purpose of this meeting was "to discuss the toxicological problems caused by the presence of certain highly toxic impurities" in samples of 2,4,5-T. The primary "highly toxic impurity" was 2,3,7,8 TCDD, one of 75 dioxin compounds. Three months later, Rowe sent a memo to Ross Mulholland, a manager with Dow in Canada, informing him that dioxin "is exceptionally toxic, it has a tremendous potential for producing chloracne (a skin disorder similar to acne) and systemic injury." Rowe ordered Mulholland in a postscript to the letter that "Under no circumstances may this letter be reproduced, shown or sent to anyone outside of Dow." Among those in attendance at one of the meetings of chemical company officials was John Frawley, a toxicologist for Hercules, Inc. In an internal memorandum for Hercules officials, Frawley wrote in 1965 that Dow was concerned the government might learn of a Dow study showing that dioxin caused severe liver damage in rabbits. Dow was concerned, according to Frawley, that "the whole industry will suffer." Frawley said he came away from the meeting with the feeling that "Dow was extremely frightened that this situation might explode" and lead to government restrictions. The concern over dioxins was kept quiet and largely out of the public view. The U.S. government and the chemical companies presented a united front on the issue of defoliation, claiming it was militarily necessary to deprive the Viet Cong of hiding places and food sources and that it caused no adverse economic or health effects to those who came into contact with the rainbow herbicides, particularly Agent Orange. Here in New Brunswick it is now public knowledge that the Federal Government paid out many claims because of drift, in 1964 they paid out $250,000.00 to farmers for crop damage, because of the drifting of these herbicides onto their lands. So in other words a tomato is worth more than a human life, god help this country if this is an indication of how the Canadian Government and the New Brunswick government values a human life. So what do we get? Well the federal government has set up a fact finding committee headed by a former New Brunswick Environment Minister, Vaughn Blaney and one longtime senior provincial bureaucrat , Mr. Ron Murray. Both as far as I am concerned already know where to find the answers to this distressing mess. Former Minister Blaney and bureaucrat Ron Murray know full well that before any spraying took place, the New Brunswick Department of Environment had to approve it, flight logs were filed by every pilot who was involved in the program. All reports were turned over in duplicate to the proper authorities managing the aerial spraying. This was a standard procedure carried out back in the 50’s and is still the procedure carried out today. The question has been asked, why doesn’t the province of New Brunswick call for a public inquiry, well you see the N.B. government has been involved all along and they carry just as much responsibility as does the Federal Government in this environmental travesty. We all watched Global National and the coverage of this Agent Orange mess with Kevin Newman, it was just a brief look at one of the worst environmental situations in Canada, but what makes it really bad, is it was perpetrated on those of us who were at base Gagetown and living near the base in the many small communities by our own Canadian government, by the very people we elect to protect us. Today these very same “governments “are doing everything they can to avoid taking responsibility for the damage they have done to our health and the death of loved ones who stood unknowingly in the drift of these poisons herbicides. We will only get to the bottom of this mess, by way of a public inquiry, not this silly little meaningless Fact Find Committee, tax dollars could surely be better spent, but if the government of New Brunswick and their Federal counterpart feel this is important, then maybe this fact finding committee report to Public Commissioner of Inquiry, not the governments it serves. In closing I want to mention the Global pole relating to compensation, it was implied that there was a Public Inquiry in progress.. well this is not the case and find that the question was misleading. The fact finding committee is along way from an inquiry. An inquiry would give the commissioner power to call witness and place them under oath, Mr. Blaney does not have that power and might as well be a collector of stories, he wishes to publish in a novel. Regards Wayne Coady CC: Members of Parliament Members of the New Brunswick Legislature Fact Finding Committee ( Vaughn Blaney ) Global National ( Kevin Newman)

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  1. Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:25 pm
    Good letter Wayne, excellent points. Public inquiry must be public and must have the power to interview under oath all those involved. We'll never get to the bottom of this if the fox is guarding the hen house.

    If I stand for my country today...will my country be here to stand for me tomorrow?

  2. Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:19 am
    Wayne is absolutely right. This is another scandal that needs a public inquiry! Art Connolly

  3. Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:19 am
    Well as you can see I was sending this letter out to all political parties in hope I would get a reply. Not one has had the guts to respond to this letter and my own MP Mike Savage has bounced my email, my former MP NDP Peter Stoffer has not been available for any of my communications ovrer this agent orange mess, so what does that tell you.

    The only politican who has responded to other letter has been MP Greg Thompson from New Brunswick and he has told me that on Sept 29 at 6.15 pm he will be on his feet calling for a public inquiry... so lets hope that he does not change his mind. I will be watching CPAC too.

    Thank You Catherine Costen for the support and I must say the Canadian Action Party have been the only party so far to join in with us calling for that public inquiry.

    Good government is not a party government

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