War-crimes suit against Agent Orange manufacturers dismissed

A potentially historic class-action lawsuit accusing manufacturers of the herbicide Agent Orange of committing war crimes isn’t looking so historic after all — it was dismissed yesterday by a federal judge in New York City. Dioxin-containing Agent Orange was sprayed extensively in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971 by U.S. forces to kill crops and reduce the opposition’s cover. The plaintiffs in the case say the herbicide has been causing a panoply of health problems in Vietnam ever since, including cancer and birth defects. “We are disappointed,” said Nguyen Trong Nhan of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange. “[The judge] has turned a blind eye before the obvious truth. It’s a shame for him to put out that decision. We just want justice, nothing more.” The group said it plans to appeal the decision.