June 28 National PBS Airing of “The People vs. Agent Orange”

Tune in on Monday June 28 for the national airing of the award-winning film “The People vs. Agent Orange” on PBS’ Independent Lens!

The Poison Papers

2,4-D was a part of Agent Orange. Among 400 other pesticides, it has been for a long time and is nowadays the second after Glyphosate most widely used ingredient in the agriculture, tree plantations and consumer herbicide products. According to the EPA, current annual domestic 2,4-D usage is approximately 46 million pounds, with 30 million pounds (66%) used by agriculture and 16 million pounds (34%) used in non-agriculture settings.

The inspiring and enraging film follows women-led resistance to the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war, and its use in Oregon, following the war. The viewer witnesses intimate behind-the-scenes access to grassroots resistance in Oregon and Vietnam and gut-wrenching first-person accounts of sacrifice and resolve.

The Oregon protagonist, Carol Van Strum, has supported lawmaking efforts in Lincoln County to ban aerial spraying and recognize rights of ecosystems. This work has led her to become the human spokesperson for the Siletz River watershed in active litigation coming out of a challenge to the aerial spray ban Lincoln County enacted in 2017. That law successfully banned aerial pesticide spraying for over two years.

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