Percy Barrett, Opposition Environment and Conservation Critic and MHA for
the District of Bellevue, has forwarded new information received from a
resident of the Shea Heights area of St. Johnís concerning the possible use
of a defoliant in the 1970s. He is also calling on others to come forward
with information they may have concerning the spraying of defoliants in the
Shea Heights and other areas of the province.
"I think this case in Shea
Heights needs to be fully investigated along with other possible uses of
agent orange derivatives along power lines, the railway, on military bases
and for experimental use in the forestry sector," said Barrett. "Now that
people are coming forward with information, it is the responsibility of the
Minister to see that a full an open investigation is undertaken."
Last month, Barrett forwarded information to the Minister indicating that
defoliants had been used in many locations around the province. One
newspaper article indicated that 2,4,5,T, a component of the defoliant Agent
Orange, had been sprayed on 61 hectares of land in central Newfoundland.
Another article citing the use of an unnamed chemical had the headline
"Berry Pickers cautioned on power line chemical spray" and related to
spraying between Deer Lake and Pasadena. There were also articles that
indicated other chemicals such as Dybar and Tordon 10K had been used in this
province in the past.
"By coming forward with information, people can speed up the process of
this investigation and provide invaluable service to the people of the
province. If someone has information about locations where spraying may have
occurred, but donít know exactly what was used, such information can be
useful and should be passed on. I want people who have any information at
all to come forward so officials in the department can investigate."
The Liberal MHA explained that as far as he can determine, prior to the
1980's there was no requirement for companies to register chemical use with
the provincial government. Many chemicals that are now considered very
dangerous were easily available and their use was not regulated. It has been
recently discovered that commercial versions of Agent Orange were used in
New Brunswick along power lines. The people who did the spraying in that
province received government compensation as a result of the potentially
harmful exposure. Agent Orange was sprayed in Vietnam by the U.S. Military
during the Vietnam War and has been linked to many health problems.