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May 31, 2005 |

The Canadian government has admitted that soldiers stationed at a military base in Gagetown, New Brunswick, were harmed as a result of the use of the highly toxic defoliant, Agent Orange, at that base during the 1960s. Although these soldiers will now receive disability pensions from the government, no mention has been made of civilians who may also have been injured by exposure to the chemical. The United States sprayed enormous amounts of the herbicide to defoliate large sections of forest in Vietnam between 1961 and 1971 when it was discovered to contain dioxin, a known carcinogen.

A group of civilians, who lived in the vicinity of the plant, claim that Agent Orange is responsible for cancers and other medical problems among the local residents. A professor at the University of New Brunswick wants to study the claims with funding from the government in order to see "whether they’ve had cancer or a particular kind of cancer, whether they have children with learning disabilities or learning differences, whether there’s been a difference in terms of the number of children born prematurely or whatever.".

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