Environment: Operation Wasteland

While the noisy conflict in Cambodia has seized the headlines, the quiet defoliation of South Viet Nam has become the focus of well-informed outrage. Individual scientists and the influential American Association for the Advancement of Science fear that a biological wasteland is in the making.

Since 1962, the U.S. armed forces have sprayed (or dumped in haste) about 13.5 million gallons of potent chemicals from low-flying planes (see color pages). The peak of the program came in 1967-68, when 400 defoliation sorties were flown monthly. Now considerably reduced to a "classified" number of...

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