Thursday, March 11, 2010

Newsletter: Agent Orange

By Amanda Valenti

Agent Orange, though an issue a long time ago, is still an issue today. People are still suffering from birth defects and many feel like some health issues could be attributed to Agent Orange. There have been complaints for new illness thought be brought on by Agent Orange.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Border Patrol plans to spray herbicides in Texas. Many people fear the consequences, as the information about the substance is not readily available.

For the veterans who have already been affected, the government feels like it has a moral obligation to care for them. According to a recent press release by the House Committee for Veteran Affairs, “ ‘we owe it to our veterans to fulfill the promises made to them as a result of their service,’ said Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA). ‘If, as a result of service, a veteran was exposed to Agent Orange and it has resulted in failing health, this country has a moral obligation to care for each veteran the way we promised we would’,” (

The fact that people may see a repeat of this frightens many. With more talk of spraying in the works, people fear for future birth defects and current medical issues. Citizens want to move forward from this disaster that occurred 40 years ago, but spraying again will only heighten the current problems.

Considering the government already has a plan in effect for those who have ailments due to Agent Orange, to even consider spraying again is counterproductive. On March 31, 2009, New America Media said, “Possibly beginning this week, the U.S. Border Patrol could commence aerial herbicide spraying along a slice of the Rio Grande between the twin cities of Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. The experimental spraying would cover an area that stretches 1.1 miles between the Laredo Railroad Bridge and Laredo Community College directly across from Mexico,” (

The U.S. does not need another occurrence of such a substance that creates such ailments. The wise decision would be find another way. More information about this substance does need to be released, as the public is unaware of what they are being exposed to. The main issue with Agent Orange was lack of knowledge. To simply repeat history makes no economical sense; not even humane sense. People need to be more informed as to what is going on and what is in the pesticides in order to protect their families, since the government may not always look out for them.

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