My comments are only on the facts of any study not in particular the New Brunswick Canada base as I do not have all the information necessary to even pose a particular challenge.




Comment from Kelly Franklin, one of our Canadian cousins:


(Christ Paul, why is it that our being sprayed with Agent Orange affected the moral health of our governments as much as it has our own physical health? They’re telling us you had to be held upside down in a barrel of Agent (pick a color, they sprayed all of them on Gagetown too) before there would be noticeable health effects. I’m having my blood analyzed for dioxin in a few days – the results will come back in February. )  A copy of the report is attached.




by The Associated Press

Friday, December 08, 2006 - Bangor Daily News

By Chris Morris

The Associated Press


OROMOCTO, New Brunswick - A new study into the spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides at a New Brunswick army base long used to train Maine National Guard troops has concluded that only those involved in the mixing, spraying and clearing of brush need worry about potential health effects.


Maine troops have trained at the base for two or more weeks each year since 1971.


The finding, released Thursday by a federal fact-finding mission into spraying at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, was determined by independent researchers with Cantox Environmental Inc.  (It would nice to know how this was determined and the protocols used to establish such conclusions.)  ie soil testing, sediment testing, ground and aquifer testing, etc.


They concluded that toxins in defoliants used at the base from the mid-1950s to current times should be of concern only to those who were directly involved in the spraying.  (Again it would be nice to know if this study even looked at arsenic acid derivates or the toxic chemical 2,4-D that is still found in our own soil according to our EPA.) (If this was nothing but a witch hunt for only the dioxin, TCDD then it is not realistic as to the environment if the complete gamut of rainbow herbicides was not used - including any commercially named derivates such as Silvex or similar.) 


As well, they said, only the most potent products used prior to the late 1960s have the potential to cause long-term health problems such as cancer and hormonal disorders.  (Now boy I would like to see the proof in that little deal as the product made in the US was not changed until 1985 when the US EPA made Dow reduce the amount of hexachlorobenzene and nitrosamines.)


"The report released today indicates that Base Gagetown is a safe place to train our soldiers and allied Armed Forces members for combat in trouble spots around the world," said Dennis Furlong, co-coordinator of the fact-finding mission.  (Perhaps the researchers might want to ask their sons and daughters to drink three glasses of water from that area of the base - have all their food processed and cooked in it for an entire year and then lets keep track of the increases in cancer deaths and types of cancers.) (In other words put their scientific beliefs and tests to the real test of scientific integrity.)


The findings are the latest in a several major scientific reports to play down health concerns over the widespread spraying of chemical herbicides at the largest military training base in Canada. (Of course they would financed by chemical companies and downplayed by the US government.


Two earlier reports on human health risks arising from the spraying determined there are almost no health hazards.  (Again it would be nice to see those studies and tests that were down as we assuming this all not just a paid for subjective answer and there is a semblance of some scientific procedures in play.)


In the late 1960s, the U.S. Defense Department tested Agent Orange, Agent Purple and a rainbow of other defoliants at the base, raising alarms that Canadians involved in the tests could suffer the same health problems as veterans of the Vietnam War, where herbicides were sprayed to clear jungle.


But scientists say a key element in determining health effects from the harmful substances is the level of exposure and levels were much lighter in Canada than in Vietnam.  (Wrong wrong wrong - what is known today is there may not be a threshold level for disorders associated to these toxic chemicals in dioxins and furans.  Including that the common sense rule would be those that lived in the environment and had lung and gastrointestinal absorption would be worse off.  Which according to their own statements of denial would have an effect - it cannot be only one way!)  


The latest report looked only at the health impact of the toxic contaminants of the sprays dioxins and hexachlorobenzene. The researchers found there only would be health effects from these chemicals in "extreme, worst-case conditions."  (Here we go again with this wide open blanket statements to deny.  Define extreme worst-case conditions is that on the high end of significant as opposed to being the low end of significant or what is considered significant to these scientists.) (And what are the prior stated positions of these scientists as well as disclosure that they in no way have supported chemical company stands the wording of this statement is parallel to what chemical companies have been stating for 60 years now.)


They said that all others, including civilians living near the base and military trainees who have been on the base in subsequent years, would have no more of the contaminants in their systems than the general population.  (Man these scientist are super natural it would seem not only in science - but the science of politics and not committing to any thing concrete as well.)


Troops from Maine have trained at Gagetown since 1971. About 100 Army Guard members trained there last June, after an earlier study found that 99 percent of the 276,000-acre base was safe to use for training exercises, according to the Canadian safety standard.


Peter Ogden, director of the Bureau of Veteran Services in Maine, said Thursday that in the past year about 45 Maine veterans or their families have filed claims with the federal veterans health system based on exposure to the pesticides at Gagetown. All have been rejected, Ogden said because "they weren’t there during the spraying."


(I hope Mr. Ogden is a Maine state employee and not an employee of the VA otherwise the Maine Veterans will be screwed like the rest of us.)


(You do not have to be present during spraying.  These toxic chemicals stay in the environment for decades especially in damp or water conditions.   Just ask the Canadian Environmental group Hatsfield as they indicated in Vietnam there were still lakes contaminated and at least 12 hot spots still in Vietnam of the dioxin, TCDD 30 damn years after the last spraying.  Including a finding in fish, fowl, and beef of levels as high as 65 ppt.  Not good folks not good!)


Ogden said information about the latest study would be posted at the Web site of the Maine Army Guard sometime next week: