In 1969, areas near Kellner Canyon and Ice House Canyon near the Pinal Mountains were also sprayed for five years, and the San Carlos and Gila Rivers were contaminated. After the spraying in the off-reservation town of Globe, residents who were contaminated sued Dow Chemical, the makers of the Agent Orange, and the government of the United States. The case, Shoecraft V. Dow Chemical, went before the U.S. District in Phoenix and was settled out of court in the early 1980s. On the other hand, San Carlos Apache tribal members have yet to receive redress of their grievances, harm to health, and deaths that have been perpetuated by this witches brew.
It is prudent and just for us to hold those responsible for the after-effects of chemical spraying that was conducted without the free, prior and informed consent of San Carlos Apache tribal members. We all drink the water, including other indigenous nations downstream and citizens of Arizona who rely the polluted rivers of the San Carlos, Gila, and Salt rivers. It’s time to hold them accountable.
It was popularized during the Vietnam War when the United States sprayed this chemical on the high canopy tree stands of the Vietnamese forests to kill vegetation. Even U.S. veterans were victimized by this chemical, and to this day, those who had contact with Agent Orange have become sick with many types of diseases and cancers that were unknown prior to the creation of this dangerous chemical. Diseases associated with Agent Orange contamination include Type 2 diabetes, liver and heart disease, birth defects (two row teeth, cleft pallet) spina bifida, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others.