On March 10, conservative Judge Jack B. Weinstein ruled against compensating Vietnamese children and adults who have suffered serious health damage due to the intensive spraying of the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange was widely applied to remove forest cover, despite being categorized as a highly toxic dioxin to humans. Backed by legal teams that only billions of dollars in annual sales can provide, the Monsanto Corporation (the original producer of Agent Orange), Dow, and others claimed the chemical is not toxic, even though it is now globally banned for that very reason. Over a million Vietnamese suffer serious health problems, ranging from cancer to birth defects, due to exposure to Agent Orange, which still persists in the nation's environment. Birth defect rates are among the highest in the world in regions where Agent Orange was applied. Here, children are frequently born without eyes, limbs, or are even missing internal organs. In making his ruling in favor of Monsanto and Dow, Judge Weinstein claimed that pesticides and birth defects are not related, saying, "There is no basis for any of the claims of plaintiffs. The case is dismissed." http://www.organicconsumers.org/Politics/agentorange031405.cfm
IN THE WORDS OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
"Studies evaluating the role of pesticides in birth defects have found an association between maternal and paternal exposure to pesticides and increased risks of offspring having or dying from birth defects."
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (America's Children and the Environment)
For more U.S. Government statements on the health effects of pesticides check out this Fact Sheet (PDF)
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