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Court Scraps Agent Orange Suit

Judge says chemical was used as a defoliant, not a weapon
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 3:17 PM CST
Court Scraps Agent Orange Suit
A physically and mentally disabled child sits on the steps of a hospital ward at a "peace village" center in the village of Thuy An, Vietnam, which houses people suffering from illnesses and deformities associated with contact to dioxin in chemical defoliant Agent Orange, in this May 15, 2007, file...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Vietnamese plaintiffs who say Agent Orange caused them serious health problems ran into a judicial dead end today. A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a civil lawsuit over use of the defoliant in the Vietnam War. The suit claimed that Dow Chemical and other companies violated a ban on poisonous weapons and were responsible for millions of cases of birth defects and cancer, Reuters reports.

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"Agent orange was used as a defoliant and not as a poison designed for or targeting human populations,” ruled the judge. American warplanes dropped roughly 18 million gallons of the chemical, but the US says there's no proven link with 3 million alleged cases of dioxin poisoning. The defendants applauded the decision and reiterated that the US and Vietnam governments should resolve such matters. (Read more Vietnam War stories.)

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