An Open Letter to All Employees of Monsanto

By Len Aldis
Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society

Dear Friends,

In addressing you today, I wish to draw your attention to the background of Monsanto, a company whose name and products are held in contempt not only within the United States, but also in every country where it has offices, its products sold and used. The reason for the contempt goes back to the United States War on Vietnam, in particular August 10th 1961 when the first use of the herbicide Agent Orange began.

President Roosevelt speaking of the attack on Pearl Harbour December 7th 1941 stated, “It will be a day that will live in infamy”.

So, too, friends, will August 10th 1961, for on that day began the spraying of 80 million litres of Agent Orange – manufactured by your company along with others. The spraying was to continue for ten years. I ask you to imagine every day for ten years a Vietnamese Pearl Harbour. The loss of life on that day in 1941 was indeed tragic, but consider the loss of life over ten-years, and the millions born years after the war ended in 1975 crippled in mind and body due to Agent Orange.

Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images. A U.S. Air Force plane spraying a delta area 20 miles from Saigon with Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

Today in Vietnam there are over three million victims suffering from the effects of Agent Orange, and the company you work for Monsanto, is one of those responsible.

Hugh Grant who holds the positions of President, Chairman, and Chief Executive of your company was just three years of age when the spraying began and 13 years old when it stopped. So we cannot blame him then. But, on reaching the age of 23 in 1981 – six-years after the Vietnam War ended, Hugh Grant joined Monsanto, and would have known the history of the company and its products including Agent Orange, its use on Vietnam and the effect on the people and land.

When he became President, Chairman and CEO, if he did not know of Agent Orange and its use, then he is unfit to remain with the company. Shamefully, Monsanto’s public relation office to this very day continues to deny any responsibility for the illnesses and deformities that Agent Orange has caused to the people of Vietnam. Nor have they made any financial compensation to the victims. Yet the evidence is plain to see if Hugh Grant or the people who write these denials were to visit the victims in the hospitals, clinics, or in their homes as I have done many times indeed. The offices of Monsanto and Dow Chemicals – another company responsible for Agent Orange – are just a ten-minute car ride away from the Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

In my visits to these offices I have asked that the director or manager visit or come with me to the Tu Du Hospital. Each time they have refused. Instead they give me a statement that denies all responsibility.

But Hugh Grant and/or his board members do not have to go to Vietnam to see some of the victims of Agent Orange; they can seen in many cities of the United States, for those who served in Vietnam were also affected and are suffering from the same illnesses and disabilities that the Vietnamese have. Many, again like the Vietnamese victims, have died as a result of Agent Orange.

Friends, next year, 2011, will see the 50th anniversary of the spraying of Agent Orange on Vietnam. Remember the date 10th August. It will be a day when millions in Vietnam and its friends in many countries around the world will commemorate as a day of infamy.

Tomorrow, as you walk through the gates of your company Monsanto, I ask you to remember the deaths and disabilities that Agent Orange has caused, especially to the many thousands of innocent children who died in their mother’s womb, and those who survived born with deformities and ask yourself: Why am I working for such a company as MONSANTO?

Further Reading:

Monsanto and PCB
Monsanto and DDT
Monsanto and rBST
Monsanto and Agent Orange
Monsanto and Aspartame
Also see The Monsanto Files

19 responses to “An Open Letter to All Employees of Monsanto

  1. Their time is coming but we have to be vigilant because Monsanto is obvious like the shell game. It is not about punishing the companies like Monsanto and Bayer it is about punishing the people like Mr. Grant and all those who came before him and their estates. Otherwise they have no fear of punishment and they just move on to their next atrocity. Paul

  2. People are INSANE now the question is who is more insane the ones that create it or the rest of us that BUY into it???

  3. Excellent Letter Len! Len may be 80 years old but he has the fighting spirit of a man a quarter his age. We could all learn a lot from the man’s commitment!

  4. Great article and that Monsanto Land graphic art is excellent and along with the photos make the point!!!

  5. Doesn’t this just seem to exclude all the other atrocious stuff Monsanto has done to the world by focusing on this one event. I doubt that this is even their worst contribution to humanity. What about all they have done in order to try to take control of the food sources of the world, all the species of plants destroyed because of Monsanto and all the GM foods that are constantly poisoning the population, not to mention the chemicals consumed unwittingly by close to billions of people due to Monsanto’s greed for money, power and world domination? This article does a good job at taking accountability for all that out of the picture.

    • Completely right, Poppy.

    • yes, the letter is limited in scope, but this man and his organization specifically address dioxin (agent orange, agent purple, agent white). I posted it here since we know of Monsanto’s other atrocities. And, that’s why I added those links at the end about other poisons Monsanto heaps on us.

  6. Monsanto’s Agent Orange: The Persistent Ghost from the Vietnam War

    On November 6 2010 I wrote this note in Facebook:

    A couple of weeks ago I saw the heart-wrenching documentary “Battle’s poison cloud” about Vietnam 34 years after the war. The extensive use of chemicals at the time is still causing devastating damage to humans and to nature today. Vietnam has, since the war, recorded extraordinarily high numbers of birth abnormalities. Serious birth defects and malformations are now been seen in the second generation of children born after the war. Vietnamese scientists are adamant that these defects are a direct result of dioxin poisoning. And they are fearful that the dioxin may have affected the DNA.

    There are cases of families giving birth to four children without eyes, and other sibling groups with serious and gross deformities. Many of the children are in villages and supported by their families and only known to the local authorities.
    To make problems worse: At least a dozen dioxin hotspots, discovered by Canadian researchers, remain a source of constant contamination. People are eating fish from heavily poisoned rivers and lakes.

    Although the US Government, under pressure from war veterans, recognized some ten diseases directly related to dioxin contamination and began compensating US veterans of the war, neither the US government nor manufacturers such as Monsanto and Dow Chemical have yet accepted any responsibility for the 3 million Vietnamese people poisoned by Agent Orange. They still refuse to give any help. as far as I know.


    I posted a short version of this sad story on the walls of Amnesty International and Greenpeace, without getting any reaction. Later on I sent it by e-mail to both organizations; in vain again. On my post on Care2 I didn’t get any response either.

    I really want to help, but I don’t know how. Don’t Americans care about this topic? Do they feel too ashamed? Do they still see the Vietnamese people as an enemy? Is it a taboo? I really have no clue.

    In this age we protest, demonstrate and organize petitions against everything what you can think of, so why not in this case?

  7. Your letter to Monsanto’s employees could have been far more extended. The crimes of this company didn’t end after the use of Agent Orange. Monsanto’s weedkillers and GMO-seeds destroy the growing of healthy food all over the globe, robbing small farmers from their livelihoods. In India thousands of farmers already committed suicide as a result of failures of their Bt-cotton (a Monsanto ‘invention’) harvests. Cross-pollination devastates the growing of organic food. The list of Monsanto’s crimes against nature and humanity is too long. So long that I cannot understand how anybody can continue to work for this evil company.

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  11. Great letter Len!! Thanks so much for your constant vigilance. The children/grandchildren of American Vietnam veterans suffering from intergenerational affects of agent orange – join us:

    Sharon L. Perry
    Agent Orange Legacy
    Children of Vietnam Veterans

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  13. I would like to express my thanks to those who have responded to the Open Letter, it has been very encouraging to read the comments.
    Copies of the Letter have been sent to the Head office of Monsanto in the States and also to the office in Cambridge, England as well as to some local newspapers where Monsanto has plants or offices.

    I’m glad that the film “Battle’s Poison Cloud” was mentioned, I know the director and it was one of the films I have shown to students at a number of universities here in the UK. At the end of the film show and questions, I’m asked ‘what can we do’? My reply has been “write to an office of Monsanto near you, tell them what you have seen and ask them when will they accept responsibility and make compensation to the victims. I also ask that letters go to the government of the country where the film/talk has taken place, asking them to put pressure on the U.S. government on this issue.

    Finally, I ask that when they go shopping for food, check the ingredients, if it has any GM don’t buy. it is Monsanto. If you have a garden that has weeds – what garden does not have weeds – DON’T BUY or USE “ROUNDUP”, that is Monsanto.

    Such actions will help to keep the pressure on Monsanto.

  14. I get pleasure from, result in I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

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  16. dairy industry is very demanding and dangerous to animals. Imagine those mommy cows getting milk everytime. How sad. Go Vegan.

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