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AS OF 2002, the Dow Chemical Company was one of the world's largest diversified chemicals and plastics companies with sales of $27.6 billion, employing approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The company supplied more than 3,400 chemical and plastic products to 170 countries.

Dow achieved notoriety during the 1960s as a supplier of napalm and the defoliant Agent Orange to U.S. armed forces serving in Vietnam. The “Dow Shall Not Kill” campaign was central to the development of the anti-war movement in the United States. During the 1980s, American Vietnam veterans sought damages from Dow and other manufacturers of Agent Orange because they alleged exposure to dioxin in Agent Orange had adversely affected their health. Campaigners also pursued the company through the courts for dioxin contamination, and poisoning ...

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