Agent Orange sprayed in N.B.

I think not
CFB GAGETOWN (CP) - Tempers flared at a military base in New Brunswick on Thursday as former military personnel and civilians hurled accusations at federal officials who were trying to relay information about the testing of the defoliant Agent Orange in the 1960s.

While federal officials stressed that the powerful chemical was used for only a few days in 1966 and 1967, members of the audience came forward to suggest Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals were used for a much longer period of time.

While Ottawa has said only a few barrels of Agent Orange was sprayed on the base, one member of the audience produced documents that suggested more than 6,000 barrels of various defoliants was sprayed, starting in the 1950s.

"We were poisoned by it," said a man who identified himself as a resident of Ontario who used to work at the base. "We ate our lunches with our bare hands and we ingested it. . . . I'm dying. I have to have a cancer test every three months."

Others stepped up to microphones to recount the various ailments they and their friends and relatives have suffered over the years.

The responses from federal officials were often met with catcalls and loud groans.

Meanwhile, the federal officials said it's highly unlikely New Brunswick residents living near CFB Gagetown were exposed to the herbicide.

However, the Defence Department and the Veterans Affairs Department say they are encouraging those who believe they were affected by the defoliants to come forward and apply for a disability pension.

The Defence Department also says it will reopen its files to determine who was involved in the spraying program, and it will contact the U.S. authorities who conducted the tests.

The public meeting followed a series of media reports that have raised questions about the spraying program and how it may have affected members of the military and local residents.

Earlier this week, Defence officials told a Commons committee that Canadian Forces members who trained in the test areas would have had to ingest large amounts of contaminated material to be affected by the sprayings in 1966 and 1967.

And they insisted it's highly unlikely civilians outside the sprawling army base would have been exposed.

But some of the people who attended the public meeting Thursday stressed again and again that federal officials were making a mistake by taking such a narrow view of what went on at CFB Gagetown.

They urged federal officials to investigate the use of other defoliants over a longer time frame.

The use of the defoliants, which included Agent Orange, Agent Purple and Agent White, has been public knowledge in New Brunswick since 1981.

A handful of military personnel have received compensation for ailments linked to the spraying program, but the Defence Department says it's unclear how many received payments because of lost records.

However, the department has confirmed that it has assessed about two dozen applications for compensation since 2000. Only three were approved.

The military insists it's difficult to establish a link between certain ailments and the chemicals used in the defoliants.
I read about this a couple of years ago It's unbelievable our goverment is so corrupt
I think not
I have to admit I was shocked
I think not
Hey Ocean Breeze, It's raining AGENT ORANGE in N.B. People are dying. Bad bad government.

See it?
The city used to spray some nasty stuff for mosquitos years ago. And now they don't. Skeeery stuff.
Malithion is what they were spraying and yea its not nice stuff.They used that on Pot years ago and a whole bunch of people got really sick smoking the stuff

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