Chemical crimes, and those who do not forget: Agent Orange, lead manufacturers Monsanto and Dow Chemicals

29 Oct

In August, a ‘landmark’ project – the US clean-up of Vietnam Agent Orange fallout – was announced 50 years and 150000 birth defects later.

The United States has begun to clean up a dangerous chemical left from the defoliant Agent Orange – 50 years after it was first sprayed by American planes on Vietnam’s jungles to destroy enemy cover. The American war on Vietnam left a terrible legacy which persists to the present day for the Vietnamese people, its forests and its land. Despite this the country has made remarkable progress in many fields since and despite the international embargo that ended in 1994. However, it will take many more years of support, and international aid to overcome the legacy of Agent Orange one of the chemicals used in that war.

Len Aldis, who set up the British-Vietnam Friendship Society sent a comment to a sister site about Britain keeping out of the Vietnam war, detailing covert assistance given.

Petition against the manufacturers of Agent Orange headed by Monsanto and Dow Chemicals

He points out that over three million Vietnamese and thousands of American servicemen and women, and their children, continue to suffer from the serious illnesses and disabilities caused by Agent Orange and that their petition against the manufacturers of Agent Orange headed by Monsanto and Dow Chemicals, seeking Justice, was denied by the US Supreme Court on 2nd March 2009. The petition can be signed on the British-Vietnam Friendship Society’s website – link given above.

His campaigns seeking justice for the victims of Agent Orange have led to Len Aldis being invited to speak at a number of universities in the UK and in Vietnam. He has also spoken on the issue at public meetings in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France and Vietnam.

The Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society (BVFS) ran a booth selling Vietnamese handicraft products at the “Coin Street Festival” in London on June 14 to raise funds for Vietnamese child Agent Orange victims. Items on sale were collected by Len during his numerous visits to Vietnam. Len Aldis said that money from sales will be channeled to the Vietnam Red Cross to cover orthopedic surgeries or buy wheelchairs for AO child victims. He affirmed that the BVFS will continue the struggle to get justice for over 3.5 million Vietnamese AO victims.

On the 9th May at the Soviet Memorial in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in south London Len laid flowers, remembering the sacrifices made by the people of the Soviet Union, and the support given to the people of Vietnam in their struggle for freedom and independence.

Update

The Vietnam News reports that Len, who visited Viet Nam in August to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the spraying of Agent Orange, was asked by the Viet Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) to present gifts to prime minister Cameron in person.

There was a selection of beautiful hand-embroidered linen and colourful hand-painted pictures made by the AO child victims from Hoa Binh Village, Tu Du Hospital in HCM City and children from the Cancer Hospital in Da Nang City.

Earlier, the British All Party Parliament Group on Viet Nam (APPG) and the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK organised a reception to celebrate the growing ties between the two countries, as well as an auction to raise funds for AO victims on June 18 this year at Portcullis House.

We salute Len.

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