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South Korea court says US companies liable for making Agent Orange

[JURIST] The Seoul High Court on Thursday ordered Dow Chemical [corporate website] and Monsanto [corporate website] to pay $65.2 million in damages for the negligent manufacture of defoliants used during the Vietnam War, including Agent Orange [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The money is to go to over 20,000 Korean veterans who were exposed to the chemicals. Dow and Monsanto settled a 1984 US lawsuit alleging that their products caused cancer, deformities, and organ dysfuncton for $180 million. They maintain that they produced the chemicals according to US government specs and that no connection between the chemicals and the alleged harms has ever been proven. Despite the ruling, jurisdiction issues and the amount of time passed since the end of the war may severely restrict damage collection by individual veterans. Reuters has more. The Korea Herald has local coverage.

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