A lost legal battle against "Agent Orange".

The Evry court ruled inadmissible on Monday the claims of a 79-year-old Franco-Vietnamese woman who was suing 14 multinational agrochemicals as a victim of this very toxic defoliant used by the US military during the Vietnam War.

The court ruled in favor of the 14 companies, ruling that they were "well-founded to avail themselves of jurisdictional immunity".

The lawyer for the American company Monsanto (absorbed in 2018 by the German company Bayer), Me Jean-Daniel Bretzner, had thus argued that a French court was not competent to judge the action of a sovereign foreign state as part of a wartime “defense policy”.

Tens of millions of liters spread by the US military

The French justice estimated, after examining the documents in the file, that the companies had acted well "on order and on behalf of the American State, in the accomplishment of an act of sovereignty", it is indicated in the decision that AFP obtained.

Tens of millions of liters of this defoliant had been spread by the American army, between 1962 and 1971, on Vietnamese and Laotian forests and cultures in order to prevent the advance of the Communist guerrillas.

Born in 1942 in French Indochina, Tran To Nga was involved in the independence movement in northern Vietnam and had also covered the war (1955-1975) as a journalist.

She says she was then exposed to the lasting effects of the ultratoxic chemical, nicknamed "Agent Orange".

Since 2014, this Franco-Vietnamese grandmother has been leading a civil court battle against the 14 companies for having produced this compound.

Tran To Nga says it suffers from pathologies "characteristic" of exposure to this herbicide.

Suffering from type 2 diabetes with an “extremely rare” insulin allergy, she also contracted two tuberculosis, had cancer and one of her daughters died of a heart defect.


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  • Poisoning

  • Monsanto

  • Trial

  • Vietnam

  • United States

  • Society

  • Justice