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Agent Green

One lesser-known arm of America's drug war is the use of airborne herbicides on nations to our south. One such compound is Agent Green, a highly concentrated version of 'Round-Up'.

According to doctors there, it isn't just the plants being affected ...

The Ecuadorians suffered a variety of ailments immediately following the spraying, including intestinal pain and vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, numbness, burning eyes and skin, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing and rashes, according to the study, which is to be published in the journal Genetics and Molecular Biology.

But the extensive damage to DNA found in the randomly selected individuals may activate the development of cancer or other developmental effects resulting in miscarriages, according to lead researcher César Paz y Miño, head of human molecular genetics at the Catholic University of Ecuador.

In general, everyone has some level of DNA damage due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation, air pollution, toxic chemicals and other factors. However, none of the 24 randomly selected individuals used tobacco, alcohol or nonprescription drugs, nor did they use other herbicides or pesticides that could have caused the extensive DNA damage observed, Mr. Paz y Miño told Tierramérica.

The concentration levels of Roundup were measured at more than 20 times the maximum recommended rate and may be the reason behind the adverse effect on the exposed individuals, he said. The effect was classified as “genotoxic,” which means it is capable of causing genetic mutation.

So, while we're arresting and killing our own citizens for making poor moral choices, we're also in the midst of a chemical warfare campaign against our neighbors.

Washington Post has more on a similar drug-problem nation: Afghanistan; in a story titled, 'The Lost War'.

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