The United Nations may be the only hope for thousands of world wide victims of Agents Orange, Purple and White.
With the introduction of Canada’s totally inadequate ex-grata Gagetown toxic defoliant compensation package, the US’ introduction of the “Agent Orange Equity Act,” news that Guam may have also been sprayed, Gagetown related class action lawsuits in Canada, Vietnam’s continuing battle to achieve help for its toxic defoliation victims, new reports out of New Zealand about toxic defoliant’s DNA damage, Australia finally recognizing chemical contamination for its soldiers, Korea beginning to feel the effects of defoliant used on the DMZ and too many other world chemical issues, chemical companies involved with the production and distribution of these toxic chemicals are based in almost every country in the world and owe allegiances to absolutely no country and no one except their stock holders, it may be time to start treating this issue for what it really is, a world wide problem instead of dealing with it piece mail.
Any one country who would dare have the wrath of these large multi national companies by daring to deal with the toxic chemical issue on their own could and would loose thousands of jobs, tax dollars and maybe even control of the government as these companies would simply pack up and move on to the next country and even the USA isn’t immune from this fact either.
But secondly, these chemicals - because of their continued world wide use for the farming industry - are without a doubt a world issue as we are now also being told that much of our food supply including meats, fruits, fish, vegetables and even dairy products are slightly contaminated. Worse, many of these chemicals are bio-accumulative.
What I believe we need here is for all of this to be sent to the United Nations as a world survival issue to be calmly debated, with a reasonable time limit where the solution is achieved with an unprecedented (no vetoes allowed) vote.
This would have the effect that each and every victim would be treated equally regardless of race, color, religion, sex or country of origin. It would also take the pressure off of all of the world governments who can ill afford to loose employment or revenues in their respective countries and would enviably force accountability on the companies in question, where it rightfully belongs.
This could be a one time chance for all countries of the world to for the very first time in history actually work together, allowing the UN to do the job which it was actually created for, in order to solve at least one of the problems plaguing mankind for more years then we realize.
This needs to be done before we accidently exterminating ourselves with these industry claimed safe chemicals. All other UN problems will be meaningless if we do.
On another note, if the countries of the world can come up with more then a hundred billion dollars for rebuilding countries destroyed by war, more billions for food relief, even more billions for AIDS - and let’s not forget the untold billions to wage these wars - then citizens of the world have the right, no - the obligation - to demand that they also come up with monies to help the victims of Agents Orange White and Purple, to clean up contaminated sites, and to put a stop to the continued chemical self destruction of our own environment.
The world will carry on, but will we? If this can’t be achieved a better question yet is does humanity even deserve to survive?
Cpl. Kenneth H. Young CD (Ret'd).