Global Exchange today released its list of “Most Wanted Corporate Human Rights Violators of 2005” in honor of International Human Rights Day.
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Below is the Dow Chemical profile featured on GX’s Most Wanted Corporate Human Rights Violators. For a complete list go to http://www.globalexchange.org/
CEO: Andrew N. Liveris
Contact the Corporation: Dow Chemical Co.
2030 Dow Center
Midland, MI 48674
Human rights abuses: creation of chemical weapons, marketing poisonous chemicals, illegal dumping of toxins into populated areas, environmental destruction, health problems, death
Dow Chemical has been destroying lives and poisoning the planet for decades. The company is best known for the ravages and health disaster for millions of Vietnamese and U.S. Veterans caused by its lethal Vietnam War defoliant, Agent Orange. Dow’s “invent first, ask questions later” standard of business led the multinational company to develop and perfect Napalm, a brutal chemical weapon that burned many innocents to death in Vietnam and other wars. In 1988, Dow provided pesticides to Saddam Hussein despite warnings that they could be used to produce chemical weapons.
In 2001, Dow inherited the toxic legacy of the worst peacetime chemical disaster in history when it acquired Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and its outstanding liabilities in Bhopal, India. As the Students for Bhopal website recounts, “On December 3rd, 1984, thousands of people in Bhopal, India were gassed to death after a catastrophic chemical leak at a UCC pesticide plant. More than 150,000 people were left severely disabled-of whom 22,000 have since died of their injuries-in a disaster now widely acknowledged as the world’s worst ever.”
Dow refuses to address its liabilities in Bhopal or even admit its existence, continuing in Union Carbide’s tradition of profiting from extreme corporate irresponsibility. In India, Dow’s subsidiary faces manslaughter charges and is considered a fugitive from justice for a pending criminal case related to the 1984 chemical explosion. Dow and UCC’s lack of accountability in the disaster continue to affect the lives in Bhopal to this day.
World wide, Dow is involved in human rights abuses: environmental destruction, water and ground contamination, health violations, chemical poisoning, and chemical warfare. Dow Chemical’s impact is felt globally from their Midland, Michigan headquarters to Plymouth New Zealand. In Midland, Dow has been producing chlorinated chemicals and burning and burying its waste including chemicals that make up Agent Orange. In Plymouth, New Zealand, 500,000 gallons of Agent Orange were produced and thousands of tons of dioxin-laced waste was dumped in agricultural fields. Dow’s toxic legacies of human rights abuses traverse to agricultural fields in Central America where Dow exported EPA-banned pesticide DBCP for use on banana and pineapple crops. As a result, thousands of banana workers were exposed to DBCP and became sterile. In retail markets across the world Dow’s dangerous chemicals are present as common household solvents, plastics, paints and pharmaceuticals.
Who’s working on it:
– Dow Accountability Network
– Vietnam Relief and Responsibility Campaign
– Fund for Reconciliation and Development
– The Vietnam Dioxin Collective
– International Campaign for Justice In Bhopal
– Students For Bhopal â€¢ Amnesty International-USA
– Greenpeace International
– Ecology Center
– Tittabawassee River Watch
– Beyond Pesticides