Agent Orange victims continue fight for justice in US

Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange have asked the US Supreme Court to reconsider a US Appeals Court decision on their compensation claims against a number of chemical companies.

An Agent Orange victim

In an official petition lodged by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA), the victims argue that the earlier decision denies the impact on human beings of the toxic dioxin contained Agent Orange that was sprayed by US forces during the Vietnam War.

VAVA is arguing that the use of Agent Orange, which contains high levels of the chemical dioxin, violated international regulations forbidding the use of toxic substances against humans.

The Appeals Court had denied a trial for the Agent Orange victims on the grounds that Agent Orange was a herbicide, and that the consequences of spraying it were unintended.

If the petition is approved, the organization will appeal to US Supreme Court, said Mr Tran Xuan Thu, deputy chairman and secretary general of VAVA.

Dr Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, vice chairman of VAVA, said Vietnamese dioxin victims had suffered worse exposure to dioxin than any other people in the world.

Their suffering is severe. The victims and their families face extremely difficult living conditions due to illnesses and birth defects. Victims suffering from cancer are dying everyday, Phuong said.

By Q.Khanh – Translated by Thanh Huong

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