Trial opens in France over herbicides used by U.S. in Vietnam
Topics: FRANCE U.S. VIETNAM
After a six-year investigation and 19 postponements, the French Court of Justice is trying the companies responsible for the deadly chemical, dioxin TCDD, which affected as many as 4.8 million Vietnamese directly exposed to it, but also other individuals in Cambodia and Laos, and even US civilians and soldiers.
The US Army dumped 80 million liters of Agent Orange over forests and crops in Vietnam for 11 years, with the complicity of firms such as Monsanto or Dow Chemical, among others, and which will now have to respond to French justice.
The plaintiffs want the French court to recognize the link between the pollution caused by these products and environmental ecocide and the millions of victims with irreparable after-effects caused by 'Agent Orange'.
According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fumigations ravaged as many as 400,000 hectares of agricultural lands, two million hectares of forests and 500,000 hectares of mangroves, affecting up to the fourth generation of inhabitants, currently leaving more than three million people who are currently suffering from the Agent Orange aftermaths, according to the Vietnamese Victims Association (VAVA).
French courts convicted Monsanto in late 2020 for poisoning a local producer with one of its herbicides, so jurist Valérie Cabanes proves that the country's justice 'is sensitive to the sanitary and environmental contamination of these products'. ■