Ecology: Defoliating Viet Nam

ECOLOGY Defliating Viet Nam U.S. forces are fighting not only Communist troops in Viet Nam but also the vegetation that conceals and feeds them. In thousands of sorties be tween January and September of 1967, U.S. planes sprayed 50 million Ibs. of herbicides* on 1,000,000 acres of foliage and crops in South Viet Nam. The figures this year will be even higher. To what extent is this likely to damage the country's ecology?

In response to angry criticism by home-front scientists, the Pentagon last week released a detailed study of the use and effects of herbicides. Although the report was preliminary...