Agent Orange


As part of U.S. and allied forces war efforts in the jungles of southern Vietnam, the U.S. military sought to reduce foliage for tactical purposes by developing and using a number of military (tactical) herbicides, the most common being Agent Orange. U.S. military research developed Agent Orange and the product was uniquely produced according to exacting military specifications for solely tactical use during the war.

Companies supplying Agent Orange to the government under the compulsion of the Defense Production Act of 1950 included The Dow Chemical Company, Monsanto Company, Hercules Inc., Diamond Shamrock Corporation, Uniroyal Inc., Thompson Chemical Company and Thompson-Hayward Chemical Company. Agent Orange was never made commercially available.

Dow's Position

Dow has great respect for the men and women who served in Vietnam and all who were affected by the war.

As a nation at war, the U.S. government compelled a number of companies to produce Agent Orange under the Defense Production Act. The government specified how Agent Orange would be produced and then subsequently controlled its transportation, storage, and use.

All historic wartime issues, including the use of Agent Orange, are appropriately a matter of resolution by and among the governments of the United States, Vietnam, and the allied forces. The U.S. government has committed resources to address this issue and collaboration between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments continues on a number of fronts.

The scientific investigation of Agent Orange has gone on since the Vietnam War and continues today. The very substantial body of human evidence on Agent Orange does not establish that veterans’ illnesses are caused by Agent Orange.

Last Updated: August 23, 2012