HINDUSTAN TIMES, FEBRUARY 16, 2007
INSECTICIDES BOARD OFFICIAL TOOK MONEY
M/S DOW CHEMICALS has been fined US $ 3,25,000 (Rs 1.43 crore) by the US financial regulator Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for paying $ 2,00,000 (Rs 88 lakh) to several Government officials in India for registering its pesticides in India.
Informing this at a press conference, Satinath Sarangi of International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, an NGO spearheading the campaign against Dow Chemicals to own up its liabilities towards Bhopal gas victims, said that SEC records showed that a senior official in the Central Insecticides Board received $ 39,700 (Rs 16 lakh) for registering Dow’s pesticides in India between 1996 and 2001 while Indian states’ officials received $ 87,400 (Rs 38 lakh) for facilitating distribution and sales of Dow’s pesticides.
He was accompanied at the press conference by US representative of International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal Aqutne Freechild, who showed papers in which Dow Chemicals had itself confessed to have paid the penalty for wrongdoing of its officials. The papers stated that Dow Chemicals conducted an internal investigation and voluntarily presented the results to the SEC.
Sarangi, while demanding action against Dow Chemicals and Indian officials, who received bribe from the company, under Prevention of Corruption Act, said that NGOs working among gas victims in Bhopal have long been demanding withdrawal of Indian registration of Dow’s flagship product – Dursban – a pesticide banned for domestic use in the USA.
He further said that there had been several instances in the past when Dow’s ‘dishonest’ practices in India have been exposed. In 2005, Indian Oil Corporation cancelled a deal M/s Dow Chemicals because the company falsely sold Union Carbide’s technology as its own, he pointed out.