December 19, 2012 - A new book by a Western Michigan University Professor delves into the history of using Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. History Professor Ed Martini also deals with the aftermath of the herbicide in his book Agent Orange: History, Science, and the Politics of Uncertainty.
Martini begins his book with the story of a veteran who was in Saigon for less than a day. He is eligible for Veterans Administration benefits after developing Type Two Diabetes. But Martini says children at an orphanage not far from where this veteran spent his time in Saigon have grown up with severe birth defects. They have to rely on help from Non-Governmental Organizations and other groups with nothing from the U.S. government. Martini tells WMUK’s Gordon Evans that we don’t know what Agent Orange has caused, and no one has accepted responsibility for the potential of harm from Agent Orange.
Listen to the extended interview with Ed Martini (17:52)
In the years since the end of the Vietnam War, Martini says there’s been a ton of research about Agent Orange’s health effects and the impact on the environment. But he says part of the lesson of the book is that there are limits to what can be learned from science and history. Martini says in the absence of scientific certainty most of the decisions have been based on politics. read more>>>