Monday, January 10, 2005

New Zealand Confirms Supplying Agent Orange in Vietnam War: "New Zealand supplied Agent Orange chemicals to the United States military during the Vietnam war, a government minister has revealed. The disclosure led to immediate claims that New Zealand was in breach of the Geneva convention and could face a flood of lawsuits from veterans and Vietnamese.... After nearly three decades of official denials, a high-level parliamentary committee formally acknowledged late last year that New Zealand soldiers in the Vietnam War were significantly exposed to Agent Orange, but no mention was ever made that the country was a supplier.... From 1961 to 1971, the US and South Vietnamese military sprayed millions of litres of toxic herbicides, mainly Agent Orange, over South Vietnam to destroy the vegetation used by communist forces for cover and food. Hanoi says the defoliant has caused health problems for more than one million Vietnamese and continues to have devastating consequences. A study released in August last year by scientists from the United States, Germany and Vietnam found that Agent Orange was still contaminating people through their food."

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