Bhopal court rejects application to dilute charges against Carbide CEO Anderson

We have just had a phone call from Bhopal to tell us that the criminal charges against former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson are not to be diluted. “The women are literally dancing in the streets,” said our caller.

Speaking from Johannesburg where Bhopal supporters have been protesting against the presence of Dow Chemicals at the Earth Summit, Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, which opposed the application to dilute, said “The Indian Government must now pursue extradition proceedings against Warren Anderson without delay.”

Meanwhile we have had a report that Mr Anderson has been sighted and photographed in the USA, where the law enforcement agencies have apparently been unable to trace him. Anyone who knows anything about this please contact us with more information.(But please, no Elvis-type sightings and no need to spy on your neighbours.)

Find key excerpts of the judgement, translated from Hindi here.

Tim Edwards, of the UK Campaign speaks on BBC TV.

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Diane Wilson chains herself to 70 foot tower at Dow plant to demand justice for Bhopal victims. (May face federal charge.)

At 0545 am this morning Central Time, Diane Wilson, a shrimp boat captain and environmentalist from Seadrift, Texas, scaled a 90 foot tower at Dow Chemical’s Seadrift plant, unfurled a 12 foot banner stating DOW – RESPONSIBLE FOR BHOPAL and chained herself to the tower. An eyewitness reported, “Dawn is breaking. she’s hanging the banner. Will be spotted any minute now. It’s windy and bloody loud up there next to all the compressors. She can’t hear a word on her phone, she says. Flames shooting up around her.”

KPFT 90.1 HOUSTON reporter Jackson Allers has been arrested by the Sheriff’s office for “criminal trespass” after taking pictures of Diane on the tower. He was outside Dow at the time. Kathy Hunt, Dow-Carbide’s PR Leader at Seadrift explained to KPFT News that it was necessary to arrest Jackson because he was taking pictures of Dow-Carbide plant, which is “proprietory technology” and that Dow-Carbide needed to protect its “trade secrets”. This is the same reason the company has given for 18 years for not releasing medical information about the lethal gases that leaked from its plant in Bhopal, killing thousands of innocent men, women and children as they lay sleeping in their beds. (Jackson has now been released.)

Full press release here.
Listen to KPFT Radio live on the web.

This is the same tower that was implicated in a l991 explosion that killed 1 worker, injured 34 others, including 6 citizens after the plant had been declared the safest one in the state by the Texas Chemical Council. Shrapnel the size of cars flew into the countryside.

UPDATE: Well, Diane has been arrested. Dow employees sent a basket up the tower asking her to come down. When she refused, law officers of Brazoria County mounted the tower and presumably cut the chain. We expect her to be out on bond tonight.

The Houston Chronicle covered the story but got the number of Union Carbide’s victims seriously wrong. They quote 3,849 dead. Where did you get this figure, guys? The Madhya Pradesh Government’s own figures put the death toll to date at over 20,000 and it is still mounting. Here’s our letter explaining the figures we use.

Dow-Carbide’s PR supremo at Seadrift, Kathy Hunt, was not answering her phone to us today. Call her and say hello on + 1 361 553 3058 and politely reiterate the demands of the Bhopal survivors that Dow Chemical assume full liability for the actions of its subsidiary Union Carbide in Bhopal, and that it act speedily to clean up the toxic mess left by Carbide. See here for details, figures and facts about the toxic chemicals involved.

UPDATE: Diane is out. Lots to tell but her cell phone has been confiscated and handed over to the FBI. All our numbers are now presumably being analysed by the same hot shot agents who just cannot trace Warren Anderson anywhere. He is the ex-Carbide CEO wanted on criminal charges in India and by Interpol. The Indian government’s recent move to reduce criminal charges against him sparked the present wave of hunger strikes. Read all about it inside the site.

Anyway, if you were planning to call Diane and congratulate on her bravery, and a gruff voice asks who the hell you are, you will know it’s not her dear old mom taking messages.

By the way, Diane, we are proud of you. Lots of love, and big Bhopali hug.

UPDATE: Read Diane’s own account of her adventure on the tower and how the men in black brought her down.

Please call Jim Smith, the Calhoun County Jail Administrator and thank him for treating Diane so well when she was in custody. His number is +1 361 553 4646.

UPDATE, 28 AUG: Union Carbide officials are considering a federal charge against Diane which carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison, says Kathy Hunt, Dow-Carbide’s PR leader at Seadrift. Richly ironic, considering that Diane caused no damage by her action whereas Union Carbide, which has caused 20,000 deaths to date in Bhopal, is still refusing to appear in court in India to answer criminal charges against it and has been declared an official “absconder from justice”.

The luckless Kathy Hunt, who seems to put her foot in her mouth every time she opens it, told the Victoria Advocate newspaper today that the Indian courts have ruled that Union Carbide’s actions after the accident were morally and financially satisfactory. “That chapter is closed,” Hunt said.

Er, not quite, Kath.

Union Carbide still faces criminal charges in the Bhopal court as a result of which its ex-Chairman Warren Anderson has an Interpol warrant out for his arrest. This morning the Bhopal Court rejected an application to reduce outstanding criminal charges against Mr Anderson and called on the Indian Government in the sternest language to move immediately for the extradition of Anderson from the USA, where he is in hiding. Please call Kathy on + 1 361 553 3058 and politely explain this to her. You might suggest she reads this rather better informed article on the legal issues before committing further gaffes.


UPDATE, AUG 28, 2200GMT+1: Diane reports that her house has just been buzzed by a helicopter, which circled it at tree top level twice before disappearing. We are taking this very seriously because after a 1992 action against Formosa Plastics, shots were fired from a helicopter at her house, narrowly missing a relative and killing her dog.

We are publishing Diane’s email to us in order to focus international attention on these attempts to silence her.

Wed, 28 Aug 2002 17:53:57 EDT

“just a few minutes ago a helicopter came out of the north from nowhere and circled my house very low, almost on a level with the trees. it was a green and white helicopter. it did it twice and i thought it was going to land.

“back in l992 when i was on a hungerstrike against formosa, i had a helicopter land in my front yard. a sniper from the helicopter shot at my mother-in- law and killed my dog. i still have the bullets, cops didn’t want to do anything. said if i ever got locked up, they were sending me to the looney bin. also my shrimp boat was sabastoged twice and i nearly drowned on the bay. in this mornings paper of Port Lavaca Wave, the article said there was a plane that circled the tower i was on and the plane was in carbide’s air space. they suspected it was friends of mine.

“i think someone or somebodies is trying to harrass and frighten me.”

Diane doesn’t frighten easily. Check the following for background about her extraordinary life as an activist, including the 1992 helicopter attack and how the US Coastguard prevented her from sinking her own shrimp trawler over a source of pollution.

“Clean Water, What’s It Worth?” An overview of Diane’s environmental campaigning
Diane’s struggle against Formosa Plastics
Lifetime TV’s Heroes
The War Against The Greens – Book Review

The small town of Seadrift is almost entirely dependent for employment on the giant chemical plants that dominate the countryside nearby. Calhoun County politics and infrastructure is so tied in to the companies that a perceived threat to one is considered a threat to all. Diane has protested against the toxic discharges of most of these companies. Economic papers have been presented to the local commissioners court about the real danger on the horizon – environmental activism. Congressman Ron Paul even presented a paper to Congress saying pretty much the same thing.

We ask Bhopal supporters and friends of Diane from all around the world to contact John Musser in Dow’s Corporate Public Affairs Department on (+1) 989 636-5663 (or e-mail: and demand that the Dow Chemical Corporation publicly disown and condemn these attempts to intimidate Diane Wilson. Please copy emails to Kathy Hunt at Seadrift. Her email address is

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From Arundhati Roy To Digvijay Singh

Fax Number: 0755 – 540501
The Chief Minister
Government of Madhya Pradesh
Bhopal 462004
June 15th 2002
Dear Mr Digvijay Singh
Thank you for your letter.
I am a little puzzled and embarrassed that you chose to write to me and not to those who have been petitioning you for your attention for the past 25 days. Today is the 26th day of the hunger fast of the four NBA activists demanding rehabilitation for those who are being displaced by the Maan dam. Two days ago you tried to arrest them. They escaped and are now underground. This correspondence takes place in the shadow of their death or permanent debilitation.
First, I would like to clarify in no uncertain terms that I am not a member of the NBA. I do not represent the Andolan, I cannot and do not wish to negotiate on its behalf. I am merely someone who has taken the trouble to find out what is actually happening on the ground (as opposed to on paper) in the Narmada Valley. And frankly, the more I learn, the more appalled I am.
The facts in your letter are incorrect and misleading. I have passed your letter on to Dr Nandini Sundar who was a member of the Tribunal headed by Justice G.G. Loney which published a report on the Maan project. I’m enclosing her point by point reply. Further to what I have already written, I have only a few general points to make.
You say it is not government policy to buy land and “allot” it to adivasi people. But this is not true. Under Section 3.2 (a) and (b) in the MP rehabilitation Policy for the Narmada valley, it is exactly what the government is supposed to do.
Your letter suggests that everything is as it should be – that the government has dealt fairly and generously with the people who are to be displaced. This is not the case. I have traveled to the Maan villages. I have spoken to people. I was told about the outrageous manner in which cash compensation was distributed. It is illegal even according to your own policy to distribute cash compensation like this.
It is simply not true that people were given the choice between land for land and cash. Most people said they were made to feel that they could take cash (I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ‘compensation’) or get nothing at all. Many said they took cash because they were threatened with legal action and forced eviction. Many others did so for the simple reason that they were not aware of their rights – the Narmada Bachao Andolan was not active in the area at the time.
The stark fact is that displaced people cannot buy land with the special rehabilitation grant given by the government because land is too expensive. It is the government’s responsibility to make up the difference between the value of the land to be purchased and the cash that was illegally distributed. The people, now aware of their entitlement, have offered to return every paisa they have received from the government, in return for land.
Their demands, like the demands of the hundreds of thousands of others, have been ignored. Paltry cash ‘compensation’ to subsistence farmers, most of whom are already neck deep in debt to money lenders, is only a short detour on the road to destitution and penury. We all know that.
Now your government has bulldozed buildings, destroyed hand-pumps in an effort to forcibly evict people from their homes. This was the immediate provocation for the NBA’s indefinite hunger fast. Even now there appears to be no accurate account of how many families will be affected.
In the light of all this, your government’s much-publicized Dalit Agenda – like its rehabilitation policy for displaced people- is just a meaningless piece of paper. Hundreds of thousands of Dalits and Adivasis have been and will continue to be displaced without rehabilitation by the 29 dams (in various stages of completion) that you have planned on the Narmada.
To respect the human rights of the ‘oustees’ of one dam would put your government in the untenable position of having set a precedent for respecting human rights for the rest. And this, I can imagine is not a moral problem so much as a logistical one.
Your government has to choose between implementing its policies and protecting human rights. Obviously, it has chosen to proceed with its elaborate project of social engineering, banking on the fact that public opinion will, as it always does, sink into the bewildering swamp that stretches between what governments say and what they do.
In effect, the fragile communities of Dalits and adivasis which your ‘Bhopal Document’ claims to protect, are being systematically, mercilessly crushed. Unfortunately, we are driven to have this public conversation under terrifying circumstances, when every hour and every day pushes those on fast into a more critical stage.
And lest you misunderstand, let me say that while I do not support or encourage the idea of a 22year old adivasi girl starving herself to death to make her voice heard, I completely understand the urgency of her situation and am at a loss for words when she says to me “What else can I do?” I’d like to point her question to you – what else can she do? What else can she do when she and her community stand to lose everything they ever had?
When I spoke to Ram Kuar, I thought I should tell her that even if she didn’t die, to go so long without food might make her an invalid for life.
She replied ,”the government is stealing all our future meals away from all of us. If I stop eating now, perhaps we will be heard. Perhaps the rest of us will be saved.”
The simple fact is that if there was no problem, why would the people be so agitated? Why on earth would young Ram Kuar be risking her life to demand justice? There can be no greater insult to someone who is doing that than suggesting they are doing it for some base motive or for no real reason.
In your letter you say that ‘government buildings’ are being demolished so that door and window frames are re-cycled and used elsewhere. You say nothing about forcibly sealing hand-pumps and destroying water sources, exposing people and cattle to unbearable thirst at the height of summer. Unfortunately, people cannot be re-cycled like door and window frames.
Finally, in what is perhaps the most disturbing part of your letter, you suggest that adivasi people on a fast unto death, demanding their rights to life, to livelihood, to water are “harming the interests of the tribal community”. What could you possibly mean by that?
It really saddens me to have to write this letter to you. Truly. Because you’re a good Chief Minister on paper – can you not match that with some real re-thinking, some real action on the ground?
Arundhati Roy

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List of Quotes

“We are not expendable. We are not flowers offered at the altar of profit and power. We are dancing flames committed to conquering darkness and to challenging those who threaten the planet and the magic and mystery of life.”
Rashida Bee, gas survivor, receiving the prestigious 2004 Goldman Environmental Prize

* * * * *

“If you define ‘liability’ simply as the ability to lie, then Dow’s in liability up to its ears.”
Ryan Bodanyi, Campus Organizer, Students for Bhopal

* * * * *

“We are aware that the day we succeed in holding Dow Chemical liable for the continuing disaster in Bhopal it will be good news for ordinary people all over the world. From that day chemical corporations will think twice before producing and peddling poisons and putting profits before the lives and health of people.”
Gas survivor Rashida Bee, who lost five gas-exposed family members to cancers

* * * * *

“UCC abetted the crime. The sabotage theory was a bloody lie – UCC listened too much to their PR company.”
Kamal Pareek, Chief Safety Officer at the Bhopal plant until Dec. 1983

* * * * *

”It never occurred to anyone that this would happen…I didn’t want to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the worst industrial accident in history.”
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, quoted in the January 21, 1985 issue of U.S. News & World Report. No doubt the thousands of dead and injured in Bhopal would agree

* * * * *

“We should never lose sight of the fact that Bhopal can happen in the United States.”
Al Cholger, an international representative for the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers Union (PACE), speaking in the July, 2003, edition of “Labor Notes”

* * * * *

“Well, that’s always a potential and you have to worry about it. That’s why you need the redundancy… Built into the safety system are a whole series of capabilities that can take care of whatever inadvertent action or co-mission has taken place so you’re not all dependent on just one item to either make it safe or make it unsafe.”
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, quoted at a March, 1985 press briefing, referring to the possibility of industrial sabotage. Ironically, this later became Carbide’s PR mantra

* * * * *

Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson told the congressional panel [House Health & Environment Subcommittee, Chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman] yesterday that the company had “no evidence whatsoever that sabotage was behind” the Bhopal incident. 
March 27 1985, The Washington Post

* * * * *

“Suppose we were a 40 percent owned company or 35 percent owned company, raises some inquiries on our part, do we want to participate around the world where you have less than absolute control?” 
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, testifying before the Waxman Committee, 1985

* * * * *

Not used yet:


“Union Carbide lives on and waits for us to die.”
Unnamed survivor of the gas disaster

* * * * *

“Many have been forced into destitution, some of the world’s poorest people beggared by one of the world’s richest corporations, from which came platitudes and evasions but no help.” 
Indra Sinha, Bhopal Medical Appeal

* * * * *

“One such ‘expedient’ was the MIC unit; they built it in order to retain control, they used untried technology to keep control, they under-funded it to keep control. When it turned Bhopal into a gas chamber, they said they’d had no control.”
Satinath Sarangi, a longtime bhopal activist, on the discovery of Union Carbide documents that ordered under-investment in the Sevin/MIC units of the Bhopal plant. The under-investment helped Union Carbide retain control of its Indian subsidiary, UCIL, in the face of Indian regulations that required a dilution of foreign equity

* * * * *

“Women are the worst affected from any kind of violence – be it domestic, development-related or that caused by corporate polluters like Union Carbide. It is up to us, the women, to join hands across the world and keep the fight for justice and against violence alive and unwavering.”
Rashida Bee, Bhopal Gas Affected Women’s Stationery Union, and winner of the Goldman Environment Prize 2004

* * * * *

“We are not against business. We are against business without morality.”
Champa Devi Shukla, Bhopal Gas Affected Women’s Stationery Union, and winner of the Goldman Environment Prize 2004

* * * * *

“In its timing and in the composition of the principal actors, Bhopal is a curtain raiser to the sordid drama of Globalisation. Bhopal is a window to what lies at the end of Globalisation.” 
Satinath Sarangi, Genoa, July 2001

* * * * *

“I have gone to various places and asked people to come and join me in the fight against this company [and] I got great support from people. Plenty of people from all over the world have joined us. They told us they didn’t realize what the situation was in Bhopal. ‘Only after listening to you do we realize what a big problem Bhopal is in,’ [our supporters said.] ‘We are with you and the fact is that what’s happening in Bhopal can happen anywhere, because this company is all over the place. We think your demand that this company should be accountable to the law is justified.'”
Bhopal survivor Rasheeda Bi, speaking to the India-West news network from Washington, D.C., a few hours after ending her 12-day hunger strike.
* * * * *

“Since December 1984, I have personally witnessed how broken widows with no future, or children who were forced to become heads of their orphaned families at the age of 9, and day-labourers who lost their ‘ability to work’, all turned into strong human beings, great activists, tireless campaigners and capable organisers. This self-empowerment through collective struggle is the single greatest achievement of the people of Bhopal and their transformation from victims to victors.”
Praful Bidwai, July 2004

Other Quotes

“The disaster in Bhopal continues, and is likely to worsen if Dow Chemical does not step forward to fulfill its responsibilities. It is disheartening to note that a company such as Dow, who professes to lead the chemical industry towards ‘responsible care’ shies away from its obligations when truly responsible care can be demonstrated. More disturbing is the manner in which Union Carbide and Dow Chemical have ignored the summons of the Bhopal court. This exposes a blatant disregard for the law. By refusing to address the liabilities it inherited in Bhopal via its acquisition of Union Carbide, Dow Chemical is party to the ongoing human rights and environmental abuses in Bhopal.”
A Congressional letter to Dow, signed by 18 representatives, sent in July, 2003
* * * * *

“Pursuant to the “polluter pays” principle recognized by both the United States and India, Union Carbide should bear all of the financial burden and cost for the purpose of environmental clean up and remediation.”
The Government of India, in a June 28, 2004 letter to the US Southern District Court in New York

* * * * *

“Massive suffering resulted from the UCC leak, yet Dow-Carbide continues to evade its responsibilities under the law. Dow must ensure that Union Carbide appear before the Bhopal Court. Victims have the right to be heard in court, and multinational companies shouldn’t be able to skip town or hide behind subsidiaries or mergers. This case tragically demonstrates that transnational companies need to be better regulated to eliminate corporate complicity in human rights abuses.”
Amy O’Meara, Amnesty International, May 9, 2005

* * * * *

“Dow made the mistake in February 2001 of buying Union Carbide, the company that owned 51% of an operation in India that suffered a catastrophic poison gas leak in 1984 in Bhopal.” 
Forbes Magazine, “Dow’s Pocket Has A Hole,” March 13, 2003

“Till the start up of the plant there was an absolute understanding and a very high level of communication between UCC and UCIL. Our people going there and their people coming here. The designs, the drawings. Any design change made in India had to be approved because, you see, they had experience of dealing with MIC – we didn’t. We were dependent on them for recommendations. So I feel that if at this point in time they say that they really did not know what was going on it means they are trying to hide something.”
Kamal Pareek, Chief Safety Officer at the Bhopal plant until Dec. 1983

* * * * *

“I have been deeply moved by the suffering, by the stories and by the voices of the people of Bhopal. I am extremely honored, therefore, to add my voice to the growing chorus of voices from around the world demanding justice for the victims of one of the world’s largest industrial disasters. I consider it unconscionable and obscene that 18 years and some 20,000 deaths later we are still even having a discussion about just compensation, particularly, for the thousands of innocent men, women, and children who have been left scarred, disfigured, and maimed by this example of corporate negligence. However, this is not just about Bhopal, this is about all of us since it could happen to any of us. …I also want to applaud the courage, the caring, and the compassion of people around the world, like Diane Wilson, who are currently engaged in prolonged hunger strikes in order to focus world-wide attention on the fact that–despite the boundaries and oceans that divide us–we are still one people. Their courageous actions are a reminder that we all inhabit one planet and we all breathe the same air. As I join with them in fasting for the next five days, I also join with them in urging Dow Chemicals to justly compensate the people of Bhopal.”
Danny Glover, US Actor

* * * * *

“Thousands of people in Bhopal were denied their right to life, and tens of thousands of people have had their right to health undermined. Those struggling for justice and the right to a remedy in Bhopal have been frustrated in their efforts. Thousands of poor families have suffered illness and bereavement, further impairing their ability to realize their right to a decent standard of living. These and other fundamental human rights are explicitly guaranteed in international treaties, which are legally binding on the Indian state. The Indian Constitution guarantees the right to life, and the Indian Supreme Court has held that this includes the right to health and to protection from environmental pollution. The Court has also determined that companies are responsible for environmental damage and for compensating anyone harmed by their activities.”
Amnesty International, Clouds of Injustice, Nov. 2004

* * * * *

“I visited Bhopal soon after the gas leak in 1989. The horror was hard to endure. On my return to the UK I spoke out against those responsible. It is unconscionable that after nearly 18 years, Union Carbide and its CEO Warren Anderson have not had to face charges. How has Union Carbide Corporation managed to escape with total impunity? How has Mr. Anderson managed to avoid extradition for the 11 years in which he and his Corporation have been thumbing their noses at the Bhopal Court, thus breaking the legally-binding undertaking they gave to a US court? Why does the Indian government now seek to reward him by diluting the charges against him?

“These are questions that will be asked in Bhopal on Wednesday. People who lost loved ones and have been living with terrible illnesses for nearly 18 years will want to know, ‘how did the Corporation get away with paying us such obscenely miniscule compensation?’ ‘Would this have happened if 8,000 people had been gassed to death in the US or the UK on one single night?’ ‘Why is human life in developing countries so devalued?’ What answers shall we give them? Should we hold up our hands and talk about the importance of multinational investment in India? Or legal technicalities? Should we say that when President Bush talks about corporate accountability, he specifically excludes Union Carbide and its new owners Dow Chemicals?

“What happened in 1984 was an unspeakable tragedy, what has happened since is a travesty of justice, an abuse of fundamental human rights on a contemptuous scale. It cannot be allowed to continue. Whether or not the Indian government has its way on Wednesday, the fight for justice must go on. I call upon decent people all round the world who believe in fairness and justice to join us in supporting the poor, the helpless, and the abused gas survivors of Bhopal.”
Bianca Jagger, speaking in 2002 as the Indian Government attempted to reduce the criminal charges against Warren Anderson.


Dow Criminal/Union Carbide

“$500 is plenty good for an Indian”
Dow Public Affairs Specialist Kathy Hunt, 2002, referring to the average compensation received by the Bhopal victims

* * * * *

“Clearly, we’re enormously aware of Bhopal and the fact that particular incident is associated with Union Carbide, [but Union Carbide has] done what it needs to do to pursue the correct environment, health, and safety programs.” 
Dow CEO Michael Parker, Nov. 2000, in his first media briefing

* * * * *

“The only criminal charges that we are aware of is the one against the former CEO of Union Carbide, which has retired many many many years ago. So we don’t know of any other criminal charges.”
Dow CEO William Stavropoulos, denying at the 2003 Dow Shareholder’s Meeting that Union Carbide faces criminal charges. Dow Spokesperson John Musser later clarified: “Actually, our chairman did misspeak. We are fully aware that Union Carbide and Anderson were both named in the criminal charges in India. It wasn’t said with malice, it was a mistake.”

* * * * *

“There are no…criminal…actions, suits, claims, hearings, investigations or proceedings pending…No investigation or review by any Government Entity with respect to it or any of the subsidiaries is pending.” 
Dow’s pre-merger filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, in which it claims that Union Carbide has no pending liabilities in Bhopal or elsewhere. See Registration Statement by The Dow Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 5, 1999, Article V: Representations and Warranties

* * * * *

“Dow was not named in the criminal lawsuit. Union Carbide and Mr. (Warren) Anderson, the former CEO, are named in it. They have not come forward. Their position on the matter is that the Indian government has no jurisdiction over Union Carbide or Mr. Anderson; therefore, they are not appearing in court.” 
Dow Spokesman John Musser, quoted in the December 4, 2003 issue of the Michigan Daily

* * * * *

”The Indians are very technically capable, but for safety procedures, U.S. multinationals should insist on having American employees as well as local nationals.”
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, delicately attempting to shift the blame for the disaster without sounding too racist. Quoted in the December 24, 1984, issue of Time Magazine

* * * * *

“The comparative risk of poor performance and of consequent need for further investment to correct it, is considerably higher in the UCIL operation than it would be had proven technology been followed throughout. CO and I-Naphthol processes have not been tried commercially and even the MIC-to-Sevin process, as developed by UCC, has had only a limited trial run. Furthermore, while similar waste streams have been handled elsewhere, this particular combination of materials to be disposed off is new and, accordingly, affords further chance for difficulty. In short, it can be expected that there will be interruptions in operations and delays in reaching capacity or product quality that might have been avoided by adoption of proven technology”.
UCC 04206 – third paragraph

* * * * *

“Safety is the responsibility of the people who operate our plants. You can’t be there day in and day out.”
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, quoted in the April 1, 1985 issue of Time Magazine

* * * * *

“Protecting the environment must be part of everything we do and every business decision we make. We have set aggressive [environmental] goals that must be on equal standing with our economic profit goals.”
Dow CEO Michael Parker, 2002

* * * * *

“Environment, health and safety, and economic performance are not mutually exclusive, or even limiting. Being environmentally responsible makes good business sense.”
Spoken like a man who knows. William Stavropoulos, Dow’s Chairman and CEO, in a July 1st, 2003 Dow press release

* * * * *

“Companies that don’t meet their responsibilities to all their constituencies will have a difficult time. Responsible customers won’t want to buy their products. Talented people won’t want to work for them. Enlightened communities won’t want them as neighbors, and wise investors won’t entrust them with their economic futures.”
William Stavropoulos, Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical, quoted in “The Business of Business Managing Corporate Social Responsibility: What Business Leaders are Saying and Doing 2002-2007”

* * * * *

“When all this is over, I don’t think anyone will accuse Union Carbide of stonewalling or running away from the issue.”
Wishful thinking from Warren Anderson, Union Carbide’s former CEO. Quoted in The Washington Post, February 24, 1985

* * * * *

“Union Carbide remains as a subsidiary of Dow, with its own board of directors, and its own assets and liabilities,” he said. “Stock ownership does not equal responsibility for those who acquired the stock. … For example, if you own stock in Ford, and someone rolls over in a Ford and sues Ford, you cannot be sued because you hold stock in Ford, regardless of whether or not negligence occurred.”
Dow Spokesman John Musser, quoted in the May 12, 2003 issue of the Michigan Daily

* * * * *

“Union Carbide has a moral responsibility in this matter, and we are not ducking it.”
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, quoted in Time Magazine, December 24, 1984

* * * * *

When asked what the consequences to Dow would be if it were to meet the demands of opposition groups, Musser said “I wouldn’t speculate on that because it won’t ever happen.”
Dow Spokesman John Musser, quoted in the May 12, 2003 issue of the Michigan Daily

* * * * *

“We have a stigma. We can’t avoid it.” 
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, discussing his poor little rich corporation. December 24,1984, Business Week

* * * * *

”Those first two months were tough, tough, tough. But my health is good. My blood pressure improved. I used to spend 100 percent of my time on Bhopal. Now it’s maybe 10 percent.”
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, sharing some wise words on the first anniversary of the Bhopal disaster. Quoted December 3, 1985, The New York Times

* * * * *

“This is most inconvenient. We’ve got people coming to dinner.” Pressed to ask her husband to say what his current feelings were on the continuing suffering of more than 130,000 people in Bhopal, Mrs Anderson snapped, “I told you, we are giving a dinner party, and it isn’t even catered.”
Lillian Anderson, shortly after her husband, the wanted fugitive Warren Anderson, was found living a life of luxury in the Hamptons in 2002




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New Clippings – 1991-1996: The Medical Crisis Continues

New Clippings – 1991-1996: The Medical Crisis Continues



from National Mail

18/3/91. Dr. Patel reveals that the exposure to MIC gas is a potential danger that could lead to cancer. He said that cancer takes at least 15 to 20 years to take root. In Bhopal the incident of throat, tongue, lungs and cervix cancer was the highest in the country.


from the Statesman

1/7/91. Women activists demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi, demanding proper medical care so they can at least do their daily work. A doctor testified to the inefficacy of the medical facilities. It is reported that the ICMR guidelines for treating these victims are not being followed. Doctors did not come to the hospitals and those who come at all are severely overworked and have to see 400 to 500 patients in two hours. They carry out cursory examination and treat the first ailment they discovered. Also, medicines prescribed by the ICMR are not being used. Pressure from large medicine companies to use drugs that are substandard prevent the hospitals from using drugs that are cheap and effective. Of the six lakh people who had applied for medical examination, three lakh remain without one.


from Free Press

16/12/91. The story claims the gas victims residing in the affected areas were suffering from serious ailments like jaundice, gall bladder stones and blood vomiting. At the same time the hospitals meant for the treatment of gas victims were plagued with unhygienic conditions, chaos and menace of the anti-social elements.



from the Hindu

12/2/92. Chemists in U.S. have proposed a new theory to explain the terrible symptoms that still afflict survivors of the gas disaster. However, they say that if the theory is true it will still not be of any assistance to the survivors because the damage they suffered is irreparable. The lungs of many people who survived became permanently scarred, but what puzzled doctors was the diversity of unexplained symptoms in other organs. Which range from the eyes, heart, bones, muscles and gastrointestinal tract. Thousands have impaired immune systems, and many report reproductive problems while spontaneous abortions remain high.



from the Free Press

21/6/93. Regarding the mismanagement and corruption prevalent in the gas hospitals attention of the government had fallen on deaf ears. Despite reminders to the government the situation remained the same. Victims were being deprived of medicines and other essential treatment at the hospitals meant for the victims. The hospitals had no treatment for TB and patients were being forced to buy medicines from the market at high price.



from Times of India

22/1/94. The International Medical Commission on Bhopal has observed that the health care system for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims has been inadequate. There is no system of proper follow-up and the treatment has been generally symptomatic. The IMCB condemned the Union Carbide not only for its responsibility for the deadly gas leak, but also for its behavior later.


from the Hindustan Times

25/1/94. The International Medical Commission says that Bhopal’s hospital-oriented delivery of health care was inappropriate for the chronic nature of problems. The Commission found that most of the data collected by the ICMR and others on the Bhopal experience were not freely available. It recommended an urgent review and full dissemination of such data and further information should be collected, and should include an evaluation of the current and long-term effects on women and children.


from Free Press

6/5/94. Activists held a rally to protest the alleged irregularities in the hospitals. They alleged that facilities were only available to those who pay extra fees to the doctors and visit the doctors at their clinics. They also drew attention to the non-availability of doctors at the hospitals during duty hours. They alleged that the government had turned a blind eye towards the woes of the victims.


from the Observer (London)

20/11/94. Ten years after the disaster the daily live of the survivors is still dictated by the tragedy. Hundreds of people suffering from the effects of acute gas poisoning queue daily at the government hospitals. Their symptoms include breathing problems, streaming eyes, ulcers, unstoppable menstrual bleeding, tuberculosis caused by the poison-induced collapse of their immune systems. Survivor’s groups claim the numbers of people coming forward with long-term, gas-induced symptoms have risen substantially in recent years.


from Business Standard

30/11/94. The story is about the situation in Bhopal a decade later. Victims don’t know what is rotting inside them; they cough, are out of breath easily and eyes burn. Although the complaints of people in queues outside the hospitals continue to increase, government agencies like ICMR have shut down 20 of the 22 gas-related investigations. It also says potentially the most dangerous long-term impact is that of psychological impairment, especially in children. It is also possible that genetic disorders and cancers may manifest themselves later.


from Asian Age

1/12/94. Cancer is now the latest threat stalking survivors of the gas disaster. A team appointed by ICMR was still studying the long-term effects of MIC. They said the cancerous effects of the gas would take much longer to unravel.


from Times of India Sunday Review

4/12/94. The reporter claims that ten years later, medical research into the gas tragedy is shockingly inadequate. There is hardly any authoritative scientific work on the consequences of exposure to MIC. Union Carbide toxicologists may have the best information on MIC but they are treating it like a trade secret. Union Carbide insisted the effects of MIC were short-term only, and limited to the lungs and eyes. But this was patently false.



from National Mail

29/8/95. Hundreds of gas victims will demonstrate to protest against the inadequate health facilities and present a memorandum to the Chief Minister regarding their long-pending demands. They claim the government has not been able to provide proper treatment for the victims. Rs. six crore were alleged to have been spent on medical stores but it was yet to benefit the victims. Medicines were stolen and sold in the black market but no action had been taken to stop this.


from National Mail

18/10/95. A decade after the disaster 17 victims were being admitted daily to more than a dozen hospitals in Bhopal whereas the number of outdoor patients per day had swelled to 4000. Gas relief and rehabilitation minister admitted that the hospitals constructed by the government for the gas victims lack various medical facilities.


from the Times of India

2/12/95. One-fourth of the gas victims are chronically ill, with diseases of the respiratory, gastro-intestinal, reproductive, musculoskeletal, neurological and other systems. Corneal opacity and early-age cataract are common, and exposure to the gases has made the people vulnerable to secondary infections and the incidence of tuberculosis is at least four times higher than in an unexposed population. A study by the ICMR says that 10 to 15 people continue to die of exposure-related causes every month in Bhopal.


from National Mail

3/12/95. Massive cover-up operations are still continuing on behalf of the government, with nobody in position to say how long the people will continue to suffer. The outcome of some of the studies by ICMR, were still being kept secret for some mysterious reasons.



from National Mail

6/12/96. Twelve years later doctors lack information on everything from the number of casualties following the disaster to the chemical composition of the gas. More than 50,000 are still suffering according to ICMR and most of them are not being treated any differently than the general population. There was no special recognition on the part of the doctors that the ailments were gas related and have a special protocol for treatment. As a consequence many Bhopalis suffer from the after-effects of the gas leak but are prescribed the same treatments as patients who are suffering from normal ailments.


from the Village Voice

3/12/96. This story is about the release of the report from the International Medical Commission, twelve years after the disaster. The commission found that up to 50,000 survivors were suffering from partial or total disability. In addition to the widely recognized lung and eye injuries, the report details medical conditions that have never been identified before, such as neurotoxicological effects and post-traumatic stress syndrome.


from Times of India

16/12/96. The survivors of the gas disaster are suffering from long-term neurotoxicology according to the International Medical Commission. Also, there is a stigma in being a gas victim. Women told the commission about miscarriages, inability to lift loads, breathlessness, poor vision, red and white discharge, bleeding from the nose and children with weakness, blotches on the skin and other malformations, and medicines are not effective beyond a few days.

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