Another protest similar to those on behalf of Bhopal victims has been made by Nguyen Van Rinh from Vietnam: Dow Chemicals British-hosted Olympic sponsorship ‘offers an incentive to commit other misconducts’
THE VIETNAM ASSOCIATION FOR VICTIMS OF AGENT ORANGE/DIOXIN (VAVA) – Hanoi – has written to the Olympic Organising Committee and the London Paralympics Games 2012:
On behalf of more than 300,000 members of the Vietnam Association for the Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) and three millions of victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam, I write to ask that you drop Dow Chemical Company as a sponsor of the Games to be held in London in 2012.
The Olympics and Paralympics games stand for the triumph of the human mind and body as athletes engage in competition. Dow Chemical, however, has and continues to violate this spirit by manufacturing deadly chemicals that destroy the human body and mind.
Despite public outcry from people in many countries around the world, Dow refuses to compensate its victims and clean up the lands it despoils. We feel it is incumbent upon the organisers to refuse a sponsor responsible for such misery and environmental devastation.
In our country, during the Vietnam War, from 1961 to 1971, Dow was one of the main chemical companies that produced and supplied toxic chemicals to the U.S. military for use in South Vietnam. These herbicides collectively called Agent Orange contain Dioxin, one of the most toxic poisons known to science. Dow and the other companies deliberately made Agent Orange with high levels of Dioxin to maximise its profits, even though it knew it could seriously devastate the ecology and environment in Vietnam, and harmed many Vietnamese people. Millions have died and many others left writhing in pain from lethal diseases. Several hundred thousand children have been born with serious birth defects.
It is ironic that Dow is allowed to sponsor sporting events including Paralympics athletes when it is responsible for creating three generations of severely disabled children and refuses to do anything to help them.
For decades, American, European and international public opinion have denounced Dow’s immoral actions and their violations of international law demanding that it and the other companies compensate the victims of Agent Orange, not only in Vietnam but also in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Korea.
Allowing such a company to sponsor the Olympics/Paralympics – a cultural event of global magnitude, is an affront to the conscience of humankind. Such sponsorship offers an incentive to commit other misconducts.
For the sake of the Olympic ideal, we urge you to drop Dow Chemical as a sponsor of these events.
Nguyen Van Rinh
Member of National Assembly. Vietnam.
VAVA’s President, having had no reply, asked for help from Len Aldis of the
Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society. Len delivered it by hand ‘to the palatial offices of Lord Coe, Chairman of the London Olympic Committee at 100 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf.
Two days later Len received a reply and a reply was posted to General Nguyen Van Rinh the same day.
“The reply was no different from those I had received from Dow and Monsanto. Here is an extract:
“We have discussed the matter with The Dow Chemical Company and understand that they were one of several contractors from whom the US Government commissioned the production of Agent Orange. The decision to develop buy, and use Agent Orange was made by the US Government. In the aftermath of that decision the US Government has rightly led the process of addressing the many issues . . .”