In the wake of a U.S. court ordering Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to man who says its weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer, Vietnam has called on the agrichemical giant to pay reparations to Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.
“This case is a precedent that rejects previous arguments that the herbicides supplied to the U.S. military by Monsanto and other U.S. chemical companies during the Vietnam War are not harmful to people’s health,” spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Phuong Tra said to reporters last week.
“We believe Monsanto should be responsible for compensating Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange for the damages caused by the company’s herbicides,” she said.
Monsanto, now a unit of Bayer, was one of the manufacturers of Agent Orange. The U.S. dumped roughly 45 million liters of the notorious compound, which contained dioxin, on Vietnam during the war, unleashing “a slow-onset disaster whose devastating economic, health, and ecological impacts … are still being felt today.” With its long-lasting impacts on the Vietnamese, as well as U.S. service-members, it’s been called “one of the most tragic legacies of the war.”
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