A ruling by the Seoul High Court that declared that Monsanto and Dow must pay a hefty fine for the damages caused by Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War over forty years ago has been overturned.
About 7,000 South Korean Vietnam veterans were looking to receive roughly $61 million in damages from the two largest producers of Agent Orange, a defoliant that is known for it’s teratogenicity, having been linked to cancer, birth defects and other illnesses, several generations later.
South Korea sent about 300,000 troops to the Vietnam war where the US was spraying Agent Orange in Operation Ranch hand, 16,000 of which sued Dow and Monsanto for the pain and suffering endured from the toxic exposure for approximately $4.4 billion in a smaller court in 1999 but they lost the suit.
Monsanto has been telling the public for decades that the chemical is safe, despite having known of the dangers and carcinogenicity of the unavoidable dioxin contained within for more than a decade prior to the war. Dow has responded to the lawsuit in disagreement to the results, claiming that there wasn’t sufficiently clear evidence that the damage was caused by Agent Orange, citing U.S. court rulings.
About 1,000 veterans will protest the court’s ruling on Monday. The U.S. companies have compensated New Zealand and Australian war veterans for damages.
We can’t believe that these companies are still maintaining that Agent Orange is nothing, and that they aren’t taking responsibility for damage from such an awful chemical, one that has hurt both people and the environment. Although it is not surprising, it is still disheartening. What’s your take, LivLunatics?