Monday, April 21, 2008

Seeing Orange

image: mrfink
Between 1962 and 1971 in Vietnam hundreds of millions of gallons of defoliants/herbicides with high levels of dioxin were dropped by the US. It is estimated that three million Vietnamese were exposed and at least one million suffer serious health problems today.

Some are war veterans, who were exposed to the chemical clouds. Many are farmers who lived off land that was sprayed. Others are a second and third generation, affected by their parents' exposure. Today the Red Cross estimates that around 150,000 children with birth defects can be readily traced back to their parents' exposure to Agent Orange during the war, or the consumption of dioxin-contaminated food and water since 1975.

Despite US Veterans receiving compensation for exposure, on March 10, 2005 Judge Jack Weinstein of Brooklyn Federal Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange against the chemical companies that produced the defoliants/herbicides that they knew were tainted with high level of dioxin on the basis that the use of these chemicals during the war, although they were toxic, did not in his opinion fit the definition of 'chemical warfare' and therefore did not violate international law.

As long ago as 1973 Peace Accords which paved the way to end the Vietnam War, included promises by the US of reparations of US$3.5 billion. So far, not a cent has been paid.

No shame...

No comments: