German media highlight Vietnamese-French woman’s fight for AO victims hinh anh 1

Vietnamese-French Tran Thi To Nga speaks to the press. (Photo: VNA)

 Berlin (VNA) - The historic trial initiated by Tran To Nga, a 78-year-old Vietnamese-French woman, against 14 US multinational companies that provided the chemical toxins used by the US Army in the war in Vietnam has received coverage in German media.

Deutschlandfunk, a public-broadcasting radio station, on January 26 run an article on the trial, which opened in France on January 25, on Nga’s lawsuit against the US companies for producing and selling highly toxic chemicals used by US armed forces from 1961-1971 which caused severe health damage to Nga and millions of other victims

The companies must be held responsible, the radio quoted Nga as saying prior to the trial.

Nga, who suffers from heart disease, is not only fighting for herself but also for her children and millions of AO victims in Vietnam.

She filed the lawsuit six years ago and has received support from various non-governmental organisations.

Running an article headlined “One for all against the chemical giants”, the Der Spiegel news website said the lawsuit could be a major result for AO victims.

The herbicide was used by US forces as part of Operation Ranch Hand from 1962. A total of around 80 million litres of defoliant are said to have been sprayed across 2 million ha, including at least 46 million litres of AO.

Following many class action lawsuits, affected US servicemen were compensated as part of an out-of-court settlement in the 1980s. Vietnamese victims, however, have received nothing.

No matter the verdict or how long the lawsuit takes, Nga does not want to give up, as she thinks of the victims who cannot come to court. She said she cannot disappoint them.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, meanwhile, described Nga as a strong and energetic woman who was exposed to toxic chemicals during the US War. She filed a lawsuit to seek justice for all victims of AO in Vietnam.

The article cited figures from the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin that said some 4.8 million Vietnamese were directly or indirectly exposed to AO and other chemicals that have been linked to cancers and miscarriages./.