(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2007) Beyond Pesticides is encouraging its members, activists and others in the Midwest to join Students for Bhopal and Amnesty International in a protest at the Dow Chemical Company Annual General Meeting (shareholder meeting) on Thursday, May 10, 2007, in Midland, Michigan. The purpose of the protest is to send a message to Dow that corporate irresponsibility will not be tolerated.
The protesters will demand that Dow: 1) Clean up toxic wastes and contaminated groundwater left by the 1984 Bhopal disaster; 2) Face trial and ensure that Union Carbide (now owned by Dow) and CEO Warren Anderson present themselves in the Indian Courts; 3) Cooperate with authorities assessing the long-term health consequences of the explosion; and, 4) Make public information about the toxicity of reaction products released during the leak. See details on the Bhopal disaster below.
Beyond Pesticides is part of an international campaign working to expose and hold Dow Chemical accountable for its wrong doings. Aside from its liabilities in Bhopal, Vietnam and around the world, Dow AgroSciences, a division of Dow Chemical, produces many of the most hazardous pesticides on the market, which contaminate our bodies and the environment through a variety of exposure routes. Dow has also been a leader in obscuring the science and weakening the regulation of these and other deadly chemicals.
Because many of Dowâ€™s pesticides and industrial chemicals are linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, Beyond Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network North America and Trillium Asset Management have introduced a shareholder resolution that aims to hold Dow accountable for its continued production of hazardous chemicals linked to asthma. Tess Karowski of the Michigan Environmental Council and member of Beyond Pesticides will table the resolution at Dowâ€™s Annual General Meeting later this week.
In 1984, Union Carbide was responsible for the worst industrial disaster in history in Bhopal, India. Forty tons of deadly gas was released. Seven thousand people died in the next few days and 15,000 have died since from illnesses related to the accident. Over 100,000 victims still suffer from illnesses because of this event. In a 1989 settlement, Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to victims. However, $330 million still has not been paid to the victims. In addition, the site is still heavily contaminated and residents are continuously being poisoned without access to clean drinking water. In 2001, Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide and with it, its liabilities. Dow refuses to clean up the spill.
TAKE ACTION: Join the demonstration! Meet at the Midland Center for the Arts, 1801 West St. Andrews, Midland, MI, on Thursday, May 10, 2007, at 9:00 am. Contact Manan Desai [email protected] for carpool information. For more information on Dow, its pesticides and the Bhopal disaster, visit Beyond Pesticides Dow Chemical Consumer page at www.beyondpesticides.org/dow. Download the Safer Choice booklet and learn how to protect your family from seven commonly used Dow pesticides.