A BBC documentary on the ongoing effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam shows horrific, startling pictures of children with deformed ear and faces.

It show sickening images of skin abnormalities which look like third degree bums.  These are not just a handful of cases: in the worst affected areas it is hard to find people who haven't got cancer, whose children aren't blighted by birth defects.

It's a gut wrenching show that highlights the ignorance or stupidity of an American government blinded by the poisoned chalice it handed country in a moment of madness.

Now look at some of these pictures over the page. A baby, now 15 years old, born with a deformed ear. Another woman with blisters that look like major burns, but she has never been scalded.

These aren't images from Vietnam, but the working class suburb of Paritutu in New Plymouth. Coincidentally, as we now know following extensive investigations by this magazine - investigations which the so-called 'mainstream media' are only now daring to take notice of - that's where they made Agent Orange. And that's where they secretly buried it beneath the ground and built houses on the site.

A 58 year old woman, who has asked not be named lived in the area between 1969 and 1976.

When foamy liquid bubbled out from the ground in her garden she was told by Ivon Watkins Dow "not to worry" about it ... it was just a harmless phenomenon. But this isn't Rotorua and " ain't no tourist attraction.

"This happened for a long time," she says. 'it would come up out of the soil and reminded me of dishwashing liquid. And it stunk. We just didn't know what it was but were told to forget about it."

The woman suffers from blisters in her feet, hand, legs and arms. She also suffered from cervical cancer and other nasty illnesses, like many of the residents in Paritutu. Residents like Ross Lawrence, 43, who lived within a stone's throw of the plants and worked there as a storeman between 1980 and 1985. He contracted non-Hodgkins lymphona and Hepatitis C in 1998 - one year after his wife, Patricia, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even their family dog, Ena, died of cancer last year and both Ross's children suffer from a mixture of skin complaints.

Another two families in the area have given birth to babies born with no brain - a proven Agent Orange condition in Vietnam.

A recent public meeting in New Plymouth turned into a roll call of disease and desperate stories. People who until now suffered in silence, unaware that their illness was linked to the biggest environmental scandal in our countrys' history. A scandal which slowly, but surely, is being exposed.

Helen Clark, now Prime Minister, was Minister of Health in the last Labour Government. How much did she know when Labour set laughable terms of reference for an inquiry that called no meaningful witnesses, and found 'no evidence'?

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