A French-Vietnamese woman has returned to her home country to claim damages from the U.S. chemical companies that manufactured Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the U.S. during the American war in Vietnam, and work together with U.S. filmmakers on a documentary about the issue.
Tran To Nga, a 73-year-old French-Vietnamese woman who is herself a victim of AO/Dioxin, returned to Vietnam in August 2015 with French lawyer William Bourdon to call for more support for the lawsuit she filed in France against 26 U.S. chemical manufacturers in June 2014.
On April 16, 2015, a local court in Evry, France, summoned representatives from the U.S. companies involved for the first hearing.
In her complaint, Nga is suing the U.S. companies for providing toxic chemical weapons used by U.S. forces in Vietnam during the war before 1975.
Recent tests conducted in Germany on Nga with the support of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) showed that she still carries the dioxin in her blood many decades after her exposure.
Agent Orange/Dioxin is used to refer to the herbicides and defoliants sprayed by the U.S. military to destroy crops and trees in Vietnam during wartime.
Apart from devastating ecological effects, the concentration of toxins in the soil and water in affected areas remains hundreds of times greater than levels considered safe and can still create multiple health problems such as deformities, cancer, mental disability, serious skin diseases, cleft palates, and multiple genetic diseases.
Accompanying Nga during the August 2015 visit to Vietnam were U.S. film director Alan Adelson and cameraman Scott Sinkler.
The film crew are working on a documentary entitled “Ngon Den Ky Dieu” (roughly translated as “A Miracle Lamp”), which depicts Nga’s life, her anguish and her quest for justice for AO victims, as well as the legacy of dioxin in Vietnam.
Nga was a correspondent for the Giai Phong (Liberation) News Agency during the war and was affected by AO while working in various areas sprayed with the toxic substance.