From 1961 to 1971, the US army poured 83 million liters of herbicide and defoliant over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Two thirds of these chemicals, the best known of which being Agent Orange (thus named because of the color of the tanks it was contained in), contained DIOXIN, an extremely toxic substance that can provoke cancers and malformations, as well as harm the immune, nervous and reproductive systems.
In 2004, over a million persons still suffer from illnesses and handicaps caused by Agent Orange, and 200,000 children were born with malformations.
For 30 years neither the US governemnt, nor the main international organisations, nor the manufacturers of Agent Orange have chosen to bring significant help to the victims.
In reaction to such silence, to the suffering, the misery and the exclusion of these families, citizens and associations all over the world have joined forces in an international campaign aiming at:
- Demand that social and medical assistance be urgently brought to the most severely hit populations;
- Support the legal action taken in January 2004 by the association of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, against the manufacturers of Agent Orange, the most important being DOW CHEMICAL and MONSANTO.
Because we can't forget that industrial pressure groups, today just like in the past, have no qualms about sacrificing millions of people.
Because helping the victims of past wars is an action towards lasting peace in the future.