The crime of ecocide was recognized at international level in a French court. This Monday, more than a dozen agrochemical companies, including Bayer-Monsanto, appear before the Evry Court in Essonne about 'Agent Orange', that ultra-toxic herbicide that was spilled profusely on Vietnamese forests during the war (1955-1975). And that thanks to the initiative of a Franco-Vietnamese.
Tran To Nga, born in French Indochina in 1942, was engaged to be engaged in the northern camp during the conflict. Between 1961 and 1971, however, the American army distributed millions of liters of a very toxic defoliant agent containing Agent Orange to the Vietnamese and Laotian forests to prevent the communist guerrillas from advancing in the war against the forests in the South.
'This dioxin is 13 times more toxic than civil herbicides such as glyphosate,' recalls ValÃ©rie Cabanes, an international law attorney. 'Agent Orange' destroys vegetation, pollutes the soil, poisons plants and animals. The health consequences for the population (cancer, deformities) can still be felt today. Four million people are exposed to this herbicide in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
With the support of numerous associations, Tran To Nga, now in its seventies, filed a complaint in 2014 against 14 companies that manufactured or marketed this chemical compound, including Monsanto (bought by the German Bayer in 2018) and the American manufacturer Dow Chemical.
A fight for millions
'Recognizing Vietnamese civilian victims will set a precedent,' says ValÃ©rie Cabanes when the responsibilities of multinational corporations are determined. In fact, only American, Australian, and Korean veterans who fought in Vietnam were compensated during the trials between 1987 and 2013.
'I dont fight for myself,' says Tran To Nga, who suffers from type 2 diabetes, tuberculosis and cancer, but 'for my children' and 'these millions of people.' the victims '.