The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin

Hanoi, Vietnam

On February 22nd, 2008, in New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the March 19, 2005 judgment of the U.S District Court dismissing the lawsuit of Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims against the companies who manufactured this deadly chemical. This is an irrational, biased and unfair decision which does not respond to the reality faced every day by the Vietnamese victims whose suffering is caused by Agent Orange/Dioxin.

Vietnamese Agent Orange victims would like to emphasize that the U.S. chemical companies’ production and supply of toxic chemicals for U.S forces’ use in the Vietnam War continues to cause deadly and long lasting consequences to human health and ecosystems in Vietnam. The U.S chemical companies knew very well that their products were harmful to human health before they sold these poisons to the U.S government for use in Vietnam. However, in order to achieve maximum profits and speed up production, they used a technological process in the manufacturing of Agent Orange which resulted in much higher levels of dioxin in their Agent Orange, making their product that much more lethal. These companies have ignored the truth and evaded liability for their crimes committed not only against Vietnamese victims, but also victims in other countries that were involved in the Vietnam War.

A serious review of the lawsuit brought by the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin who are daily dying or living in agony due to torturous ailments has been denied, even though the U.S government is paying billions of dollars yearly to compensate U.S veterans who were exposed to the same toxic chemical.

Is there anything more unfair than this? The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, Mr. Le Dung clearly stated that, “this erroneous and unfair judgment made by the U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Feb, 22nd, 2008 has resulted in strong resentment on the part of the Vietnamese people. Regrettably, the Court of Appeals has issued such judgment at a time when the U.S. government is engaging in certain cooperative efforts with Viet Nam in solving the consequences of Agent Orange/Dioxin…”

The demands of the victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin are completely legitimate. The Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin have no other option than to continue their fight for justice, continue to file their appeal in the U.S Supreme Court and continue their campaign to gain stronger support from the public in Vietnam and abroad, including that of the American people and political circles.

We ask people of conscience the world over to stand side by side with us in demanding that the producers of these lethal poisons fulfill their legal, spiritual and moral responsibilities for the consequences that they have caused, and in demanding justice and fairness for the victims of Agent Orange in Viet Nam and in other countries.

The pain suffered by the victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin in Vietnam is the common pain of humanity. Truth is on our side and the struggle for justice will prevail!