Episode 2092 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about the use and effects of Agent Blue in Vietnam. The featured story appeared on July 12, 1971 in the New York Times. The story was titled: ‘Agent Blue’ in Vietnam and was submitted by Arthur H. Westing.
Professor Kenneth Olson, one of the leaders of the Merry Band of Retirees, brought the featured story to this podcaster’s attention.
The Merry Band of Retirees is made up mostly of retired college professors who are using their talents to analyze the effects of our use of chemical agents during the American Vietnam War. To date, their primary attention has been devoted to Agent Orange, the most notable of the rainbow chemicals.
Recently they have turned their attention to Agent Blue. That lesser known member of the ‘rainbow of death” herbicides has received less scrutiny than the others. Because of their attention the New York Times, 50 year old story was discovered. The writer, Arthur H. Westing, presents an excellent recap of how the herbicide was applied and its effect on the Vietnamese people and the Viet Cong.
Agent Blue’s primary mission was to eliminate the food supply of the Viet Cong fighters. Westing reported that: “The United States has been destroying growing crops in South Vietnam since November 1961 as part of its “resource denial” program. This is accomplished largely by the aerial application of an aqueous solution of sodium dimethyl arsenate, “Agent Blue.”
Classified studies performed for and by the U. S. in 1967 and 1968 revealed that food destruction has had no significant impact on the enemy soldier. Civilians, in contrast, did and do suffer.
Listen to episode 2092 and discover more about the legacy of our use of Agent Blue in Vietnam and the terrible effects it had on the Vietnamese people.