Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, February 12, 2007

U.S. to help remove Agent Orange contaminants

The U.S. government announced it will give no less than $400,000 toward removing and cleaning dioxin from the soil at a former U.S. base in Danang, Viet Nam, The Associated Press reported today.

Dioxin is a highly toxic ingredient of Agent Orange, an herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Viet Nam War to destroy cover for the Viet Cong. This action represents a major step towards improving the diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and Viet Nam. U.S. Ambassador Michael Marine said that the United States is “committed to supporting the well-being of the people of Vietnam”.

Vietnamese officials maintain that four million citizens have suffered birth defects or other health consequences due to dioxin contamination. Additionally, the chemical's environmental impact has been a source of contention between the US and Viet Nam for years, as the U.S. government previously declared that there was no direct link between the chemical and the health consequences seen.

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