Reuters: Vietnam RedCross on Agent Orange to Clinton

Gary Greenberg Gary.Greenberg at Duke.Edu
Thu Nov 23 06:20:05 EST 2000

Vietnam Red Cross appeals to Clinton on Agent Orange

VIETNAM: November 23, 2000

HANOI - The president of the Vietnam Red Cross has appealed to US
President Bill Clinton to help victims of the toxic defoliant Agent
Orange and for US government help to clean up contaminated areas. 

Nguyen Trong Nhan said in a letter handed to Clinton on Saturday during
his historic visit to Vietnam the damage caused by the toxic herbicide
widely used by US forces in the Vietnam War was beyond Hanoi's means to

In a copy of the letter seen by Reuters yesterday, Nhan said the Vietnam
Red Cross was seeking both "material and psychological" support from the
United States.

"I cannot share the opinion of focusing entirely on scientific research
at the expense of assistance to the victims," he wrote. "Every day there
might be a victim passing away in misery and grief. Every day there
might be an innocent child born with genetic deformities due to Agent

"Thus, concurrently, three measures should be carried out: assistance to
the victims, environmental cleaning and scientific research," Nhan

Hanoi blames Agent Orange - which contained dioxin, one of the most
deadly chemicals on earth - for causing tens of thousands of birth
defects and Nhan said total victims in the country numbered about one

Washington maintains the link between Agent Orange and hereditary birth
defects in Vietnam remains to be proved. It has announced joint research
into its effects but said it does not intend to get involved in clean-up

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has
called for assistance for Vietnamese suffering sometimes chronic
disabilities blamed on Agent Orange.

It says that while the hereditary effects were still a matter of debate,
vulnerable disabled people caught up in the controversy needed proper

It has been seeking 542,000 Swiss francs ($303,000) for a first phase of
a project that would provide initial help for 1,000 families in affected


Gary N. Greenberg, MD MPH    Sysop / Moderator Occ-Env-Med-L MailList
gary.greenberg at duke.edu     Duke Occupat, Environ, Int & Fam Medicine
OEM-L Maillist Website:                      http://occhealthnews.com


More information about the Toxicol mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net