02 December 2021
On the occasion of the 37th Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster, leaders of four survivors’ organizations in Bhopal condemned The Dow Chemical Company, USA for its systematic discrimination against survivors of the gas disaster and victims of groundwater contamination.
The organizations presented facts to counter Dow CEO, Jim Fitterling’s claims to non-discrimination by being in the Advisory Board of an LGBT+ organization. They also released a letter from senior LGBT+ activist Peter Tatchell asking Jim Fitterling to own up the legal responsibilities of Bhopal.
Sanjana Singh an LGBT+ survivor of the Bhopal disaster said “Fighting discrimination against LGBT+ people teaches us to fight against all forms of discrimination in society. It is wrong for Fitterling who came out as gay in 2014 to make claims of inclusivity while heading a company that starkly discriminates against the Bhopal survivors .”
“Dow Chemical’s premium product Chlorpyriphos is banned in USA for causing possible neurological damage, reduced IQ, loss of working memory, and attention deficit disorders and birth defects. However, in India, Corteva, a corporation with close ties to Dow Chemical sells Chlorpyriphos with the trade name Dursban without mentioning its health hazards or its regulatory ban in USA.” Said Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Said Shahzadi Bee of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, “In 2014, Dow donated water filtrations systems and over 100,000 US dollars in aid to Flint, Michigan, in response to contamination of the city’s drinking water source. However, in Bhopal where mercury and cancer causing chemicals have been found in the breast milk of nursing mothers Dow quotes scientifically discredited reports of NEERI to claim there is no contamination of groundwater due to hazardous waste from the Union Carbide factory.”.
According to Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal group for Information & Action, in the United States Dow submits unquestioningly to government agencies and courts. In 2005 a Dow joint-venture pled guilty and paid an84 million dollars criminal fine for participating in an international conspiracy to fix the prices of synthetic rubber in violation of the Sherman Act. In India, Dow has ignored six separate summonses to appear in the court’s proceedings in the disaster claiming that Indian criminal courts have no jurisdiction over “TDCC. Dow Chemical’s double standards are evident in every aspect of their operations.” she said.
“In USA Dow is paying for clean up of 171 contaminated sites including the Tittabawassee and Saginaw river plains near its headquarters in Midland Michigan. But on the matter of cleaning up the ongoing contamination in Bhopal, Dow says it is the responsibility of the Madhya Pradesh government.” said Nousheen Khan of Children against Dow/Carbide.
|Rashida Bi,||Nawab Khan & Shezadi Bee,||Rachna Dhingra,||Nausheen Khan|
|Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
|Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
|Bhopal Group for Information and Action
|Children Against Dow Carbide