Dow gets its knickers in a twist

Sarvadarshi Gupta, Midland Michigan, November 21, 2006
A report on a student protest that ruined the day of Dow recruiters at MIT, has so upset the reptiles in the Dow boardroom that they nominated their jaded PR man, the unfortunately named Tomm Sprick, to write a rebuttal. But Tomm, darlin’ man, this isn’t up to your usual standard. It shows clear signs of tiredness and confusion. When you write for example, “Union Carbide continues to have the deepest sympathy and compassion for the victims and their families”, it begs the question, in that case why doesn’t it clean up its factory in Bhopal, which was abandoned full of lethal toxins which have poisoned the drinking water of 20,000 people? And why does it continue to refuse to appear in the Indian court where it (the corporation) faces criminal charges of culpable homicide and other offences? After that opening, Sprick old love, the rest of your weary nonsense is pointless.
Read Sprick’s drivel below:

Dow’s involvment in Bhopal incident minimal
Regarding “Protestors decry DOW at career fair” Nov. 3
Your story is another example of how many facts have been forgotten about the Bhopal tragedy in the past 22 years and how much misinformation is being disseminated by certain parties. Union Carbide continues to have the deepest sympathy and compassion for the victims and their families. UC took moral responsibility for the tragedy immediately after it occurred, as evidenced by our actions that are detailed on our Web site: www.bhopal.com.
Union Carbide India Limited designed and constructed the plant in the late 1970s on land leased by the State Government of Madhya Pradesh. UCIL managed and ran the plant — not Union Carbide, not Dow Chemical and certainly not Dow-Corning. UC merged with Dow Chemical in 2002, long after the tragedy occurred (1984) and long after UC, UCIL and the Government of India arrived at a $470-million settlement (1989). Dow Chemical never owned, operated, took over or had any responsibility for the Bhopal plant.
By passing the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief Act (1985), the Indian government deemed to represent all claimants in the case. And, under the settlement terms, the government would disburse any money and provide medical coverage to Bhopal citizens in the event of future illnesses. The former has taken some time, however. Recent media reports said all initial compensation claims only now have been cleared. This could mean the estimated $390 million still in the settlement fund as of 2004 might have finally been distributed.
Concerning site clean up, the state government took possession of the facility in 1998 and publicly assumed responsibility for any further remediation. This occurred after UCIL and its successor company spent more than $2 million on clean-up work.
Regarding health claims, the Hindustan Times reported a National Institute of Occupational Health study that questions voluntary organizations’ fears about water contamination in/around the plant. The article said “the state government has filed the NIOH report in the High Court in support of its contention that hazardous wastes lying in the Union Carbide were not contaminating water.” The NIOH study apparently supports earlier ones by India’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board.
The facts surrounding the tragedy and wherein responsibilities truly lie are easily discernible.
Tomm F. Sprick
Director
Union Carbide Information Center

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