I am writing this letter to say thank you to Chairman and CEO, Hugh Grant, and the distinguished Board of Directors of the Monsanto Company. I was fortunate at a young age to experience your largesse when you shared over 50,000 tons of Agent Orange with my fellow country men, country women and country children in the lush terrains of Vietnam in Southeast Asia. As master cultivators of the earth, it must have pained you to see how the Vietnamese people were just sitting around on their swanky rice paddies instead of pulling up their gosh damn weeds. How dare they let their land turn into a gnarly jungle so American GI’s and Viet Cong could not charge one another across an open field with cannons blazing and bayonets at the ready like in the good old days of the American Civil War. Gollum, himself, was probably hiding his preciousss in all that damn foliage, it simply had to go. Of course, your company’s leadership decision along with the Dow Chemical Corporation to keep the presence of dioxins and other “toxic impurities” from the public was a true act of patriotic, self-sacrifice in a time when our nation was at war. The American people in the 1970’s obviously had more important things to worry about at the time than whether American soldiers or Vietnamese civilians and their future generation’s health was being permanently compromised. Like, figuring out exactly how did Mr. Gravy get so wavy or who the hell was it that started that disco inferno?
Now, if this had been your final random act of kindness your legacy would have been forever assured, but, no, you have chosen not to rest on your laurels. Because of your high standards for corporate stewardship we are now able to purchase GMO corn at the local mom-and-pop store known as Wal-Mart. Like caviar wishes and champagne dreams, you have made the dream a reality for so many wealth-impaired people around the world. And, thanks to you, people from all walks of life can shock and awe their weeds into submission using Roundup and have sugar that tastes like ass, I mean aspartame, with their coffee or tea. In conclusion, I must admit to being envious of the city of St. Louis where Monsanto’s corporate headquarters are located. It must be like having Mr. Rogers in your very own neighborhood. So, Mr. and Mrs. Monsanto, wherever you are, please know that your efforts to control the food supply are not in vain and have not gone unnoticed. You have made a difference. Even though my fellow Vietnamese may come off as ungrateful, please know there is at least one rational minded person of the Asian persuasion who still remembers to say thank you to his captors. And if I could be so kind as to remind you that the half-life of Agent Orange can be up to 20 years, perhaps you might spare a few more tons of your finest Agent Orange for my churlish people. Think of it as a fresh coat of paint on a ’67 Chevy. Until then, I’m off to Wal-Mart to round up some produce for tonight’s dinner. I love the smell of genetic modification in the morning.
P.S.- I recently came across this blog “Agent Orange…” for Vietnam veterans who have suffered and are still suffering from the effects of Agent Orange during their service. (http://waltsao.wordpress.com)
A special thank you to a fellow blogger for bringing this topic back to my consciousness with her post, “Vietnamese Americans, Exposed to Agent Orange, Suffer in Silence“.