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Sort Deadly Legacy Now

Wed, 6 Oct 2004

Greenpeace Press Release Dow – Sort Deadly Legacy Now

Auckland 6-Oct-2004 – Greenpeace today said DOW need to be held accountable and accept full responsibility for the health effects it has caused to the Vietnam veterans and their children.

The report released today by the health select committee shows more evidence that DOW has created toxic disasters that not only plague the New Zealand public but have occurred on a global scale.

The company responsible for the manufacturing of the chemical agent, Dow Chemicals, has already paid out US$180 million to Vietnam veterans in the USA. It is currently under litigation by the Vietnamese who say that their land and people were so poisoned by Agent Orange that supplying it to the military amounted to war crimes by the chemical companies.

“DOW has caused irreversible damage by the use of the Agent Orange. The recent Paritutu scandal shows that more and more toxic disasters are coming to light in New Zealand. It’s time the companies responsible - and government - stop burying their heads in the sand and sort the problems out,” (1) said Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner Mere Takoko.

Greenpeace welcomes an investigation into our current health regime, which in its current state provides little acknowledgement that chemicals such as Agent Orange are the cause of many severe health effects.

“It’s abhorrent that it’s been over 30 years and still the Vietnam Vets and the residents of Paritutu are waiting for the Government and DOW to act. What’s it going to take for these polluting corporates to be held to account? The Government needs to stop down playing these toxic disasters and sort them out – now – not another 30 years down the track.” Said Ms Takoko.

Contact: Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner Mere Takoko 021 927 301 Greenpeace Communications Officer Suzette Jackson 021 577 556

(1) The Dow-manufactured chemicals 2,4,5 T and 2,4 D were used as a chemical defoliant and hormonal spray throughout both Vietnam and New Zealand. New Zealand was the last place in the world to stop manufacturing 2,4,5-T – at the DOW plant in New Plymouth in 1987.

ENDS


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