chapter  13
31 Pages

Organic chemicals and the environment

At the start of the US involvement in the Vietnam War, a programme initiated in January 1962 was to raise some of the most heated controversy concerning the use of chemicals on the environment that continues to this day. In 1965, under the programme named ‘Ranch Hand’, US forces used aircraft to spray selected areas of jungle with large amounts of defoliating agents. The job of these herbicides was to strip the leaves off vegetation, thus denying cover for the enemy. This programme of defoliation proved not to be very successful.