More studies are under way or planned in the Agent Orange controversy.
The latest study will be conducted by the US Air Force beginning in October and will focus on an intensively exposed population: military personnel who sprayed the defoliant on Vietnam's jungles from the air for more than eight years so as to deny cover and food crops to the enemy.
Agent Orange contains 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), a synthetic growth-regulating compound that has been used as a herbicide since 1944 in the United States and elsewhere because it can kill broadleaf plants by overstimulating their phototropic response. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned most herbicidal uses in this country five months ago, citing "a high miscarriage rate [130 spontaneous abortions within three months] following the spraying of 2,4,5-T in forests around Alsea, Ore."
There continue to be widely varying opinions about the Alsea Basin data and about other possible