A CIA report from the s reported allegations by the Cambodian government that their forces had been attacked with chemical weapons, leaving behind a yellow powder. It's free shipping made easy It's your key to free shipping. Featured Shipping Pass Products Household. Refugees described events that they believed to be chemical warfare attacks by low-flying aircraft or helicopters; several of the reports were of a yellow, oily liquid that was dubbed "yellow rain".
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Both toxins are infrequently found in nature and rarely occur together. In our experience, copious producers of T-2 toxin F. In , these charges were disputed by Harvard biologist and biological weapons opponent Matthew Meselson and his team, who traveled to Laos and conducted a separate investigation. Meselson's team noted that trichothecene mycotoxins occur naturally in the region and questioned the witness testimony.
He suggested an alternate hypothesis that the yellow rain was the harmless fecal matter of honeybees. The US government responded to these findings by arguing that the pollen was added deliberately, in order to make a substance that could be easily inhaled and "ensure the retention of toxins in the human body". After the honeybee hypothesis was made public, a literature search turned up an earlier Chinese paper  on the phenomenon of yellow droppings in Jiangsu Province in September Strikingly, the Chinese villagers had also used the term "yellow rain" to describe this phenomenon.
Many villagers believed that the yellow droppings were portents of imminent earthquake activity. Others believed that the droppings were chemical weapons sprayed by the Soviet Union or Taiwan. However, the Chinese scientists also concluded that the droppings came from bees. Analyses of putative "yellow rain" samples by the British, French and Swedish governments confirmed the presence of pollen and failed to find any trace of mycotoxins.
Surveys also showed that both mycotoxin-producing fungi and mycotoxin contamination were common in Southeast Asia, casting doubt on the assertion that detecting these compounds was an unusual occurrence. In , the New York Times reported that Freedom of Information requests showed that field investigations in —85 by US government teams had produced no evidence to substantiate the initial allegations and instead cast doubt on the reliability of the initial reports, but these critical reports were not released to the public.
These issues included the US Army team only interviewing those people who claimed to have knowledge of attacks with chemical weapons and the investigators asking leading questions during interviews. The authors noted that individuals' stories changed over time, were inconsistent with other accounts, and that the people who claimed to have been eyewitnesses when first interviewed later stated that they had been relaying the accounts of others.
In , Meselson had visited a Hmong refugee camp with samples of bee droppings that he had collected in Thailand. Most of the Hmong he interviewed claimed that these were samples of the chemical weapons that they had been attacked with. One man accurately identified them as insect droppings, but switched to the chemical weapons story after discussion with fellow Hmong. Australian military scientist Rod Barton visited Thailand in , and discovered that Thai villagers were blaming yellow rain for a variety of ailments, including scabies.
An American doctor in Bangkok explained that the United States had been taking a special interest in yellow rain, and was providing medical care to alleged victims.
A CIA report from the s reported allegations by the Cambodian government that their forces had been attacked with chemical weapons, leaving behind a yellow powder. The Cambodians blamed the United States for these alleged chemical attacks. Some of the samples of "yellow rain" collected from Cambodia in tested positive for CS , which the United States had used during the Vietnam War.
CS is a form of tear gas and is not toxic, but may account for some of the milder symptoms reported by the Hmong villagers. Currently, two main viewpoints exist on the yellow rain controversy. One viewpoint sees these allegations as supported by insufficient evidence, or as having been completely refuted. For instance, a review published in Politics and the Life Sciences described the idea of yellow rain as a biological agent as conclusively disproved and called for an assessment by the US government of the mistakes made in this episode, stating that "the present approach of sweeping the matter under the rug and hoping people will forget about it could be counterproductive.
In contrast, as of the U. Army maintains that some experts believe that "trichothecenes were used as biological weapons in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan" although they write that "it has not been possible for the United States to prove unequivocally that trichothecene mycotoxins were used as biological weapons. Army textbooks published in An episode of mass pollen release from bees in in Sangrampur, India , prompted unfounded fears of a chemical weapons attack, although this was in fact due to a mass migration of giant Asian honeybees.
This event revived memories of what New Scientist described as "cold war paranoia", and the article noted that the Wall Street Journal had covered these s yellow rain allegations in particular detail. In the build-up to the invasion of Iraq the Wall Street Journal alleged that Saddam Hussein possessed a chemical weapon called "yellow rain".
Henry Wilde, a retired US Foreign Service Officer , has drawn parallels between the use of yellow rain allegations by the US government against the Soviet Union and the later exaggerated allegations on the topic of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.
In the science-themed show Radiolab aired an interview with Hmong refugee Eng Yang and his niece, author Kao Kalia Yang , to discuss Eng Yang's experience with yellow rain.
The hosts took the position that yellow rain was unlikely to have been a chemical agent. The episode prompted a backlash among some listeners, who criticized Robert Krulwich for insensitivity, racism, and their disregard for Yang's personal experience with the region in question. On 23 May , just before the national holiday of 24 May the day of Bulgarian writing and culture , yellow rain fell in Sofia, Bulgaria. Suspicions were raised because the Bulgarian government was criticizing Russian actions in Ukraine at the time.
The Bulgarian national academy BAN explained the event as flower pollen. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Yellow rain is the excrement of jungle bees. It's yellow from digested pollen grains, and it rains down from swarms of bees too high to be seen. His theory turns out to be exactly right. The Government's own studies, still unpublished, prove that the source is bees, not bombs.
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