Saturday, September 06, 2008

Agent Rainbow: Coming Soon to a Roadway Near You?

I have a healthy distrust of governments - municipal or local, provincial and federal. My ill feeling has been borne out by the many ways in which governments, entrusted with the safety and well being of all its citizens, proceed to do exactly the opposite of this once elected and respond only to its corporate ring-masters, our true overlords.

This cynicism has been truly justified recently.

But first of all the narrative:

In the fifties and sixties in New Brunswick, Canada, with the encouragement of the U.S. government, whole communities were expropriated to test a mutagenic chemical by the name of Agent Orange on local trees, bushes, plants and shrubs. Agent Orange went on to greater fame in Vietnam where it destroyed vast swathes of jungle so that the Vietnamese would be exposed and rendered visible for annihilation. This chemical altered the genetic structure of plants at the cellular level so that they self-destructed.

No one thought of the seepage into groundwater and the human ingestion of same. Or thought and disregarded it. Birth defects, cancers, class action lawsuits, and loss of life resulted after years of being assured that there was no danger. We are all familiar with the devastating effect of this chemical, both on the returned soldiers and their subsequent offspring and on the surviving Vietnamese. Not to mention the Beta testing ground of New Brunswick.

In today's paper, I am horrified to read that instead of putting these chemicals away forever, my government has been using Agent White on the sides of the highways here to clear bush and trees from automotive sightlines.

That's cancerous, toxic poison seeping into the groundwater.

Affecting all of us on a molecular level.

Will I protest?

Hell, yeah.

Will it stop?

I'm not holding my breath.

And oh yeah, the manufacturer of these Purple(and also Multi-Coloured) People Eaters?

Our malevolent old friend, the Dow Chemical Corporation.

Xomba has a good site on the chemical components of all of them.

Subsequent to above post and Sparrowchat's comment on same:
Here is a link to his excellent post on these horrific, oxymoronic 'agents'.


  1. This article reminded me of one I wrote back in December 2006 after reading and watching BBC reports on the effects of this chemical on the Vietnamese people. For it, or its derivatives, to still be in use today is a total disgrace. Frankly, I would expect better of Canadian authorities. It's more the type of behavior to be found south of your border.

    Here is a link to my post:

    There is a an embedded link to the original BBC report of 2005, which is still valid, but the later video footage is long gone, unfortunately.

  2. Sounds like it's time for one of those class action suits, WWW.

    Wildlife is bound to suffer too - still, what with climate change causing the loss of species on a daily basis.... and Sarah Palin -
    it has come back to the point once again where nobody cares. If there's such a thing as karma - we, as humans, can look forward to much retribution :-(

  3. Thanks for the link, RJA, I've amended my post to add your link. It is truly frightening to be so endangered by our own governments.
    Funny that, T. I was thinking of the birds and small animals feeding off these plants and shrubs. Karma is powerful. Gaia is poised to strike.

  4. I quite agree, a healthy distrust of governments is vital considering how deceitful and unscrupulous they so often become. It's disgraceful that something so toxic can be used on road verges. What happened to the old fashioned, non-toxic methods like simply hacking down the foliage? No doubt it would mean paying too many people. Do the politicians not think that their own families and friends could be affected by poisoned water? Are they brain-dead?

  5. Nick:
    Most of the time they are using the hack method, though they have machines for it now.
    There are a lot of moose here and widening the road verges have helped. There must have been a stockpile of these old deadly toxins and maybe they thought no one would notice if they used them on some stretches.
    We are also in the throes of a 'deli meat' listeria crisis which doesn't help my cynical perception in any way.

  6. They do not care how many people and animals they kill with their chemicals. The Canadian government, Dow and Monsanto are facing a classaction for spraying Agent Orange and other chemicals on soldiers and civilians at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick Canada, for 28 years.

  7. Anon:
    Which begs the thought, what profit has Dow made from the proliferous use of these toxins?
    Millions, billions?

  8. Dow has been producing these chemicals without thinking about their fatal consequences. A good website to learn more about their history is:


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