Daily News Archive

On Anniversary of Bhopal Disaster, Group Calls On Consumers to Take Action
New brochure and webpage target Dow Chemical

(Beyond Pesticides, December 3, 2004) Today, on the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster -the worst industrial accident in the world’s history in which a pesticide plant leaked toxic gas in Bhopal, India leaving at least 20,000 people dead and over 150,000 people injured- Beyond Pesticides is calling for just compensation and clean-up for the victims and an end to the use of deadly and unnecessary pesticides. Today, Beyond Pesticides is releasing a guide, The Safer Choice, and handbook for consumers who want to say no to the Dow Chemical Company, which owns the liability for Bhopal (available on the Dow webpage). Dow purchased in 2001 the company responsible for the disaster, Union Carbide. The Safer Choice features what it calls some of the most hazardous pesticides in commerce and alternatives to their use, all produced by Dow, including the herbicides 2,4-D, clopyralid, triclopyr, atrazine and picloram, and the insecticides chlorpyrifos, and sulfuryl fluoride.

According to Beyond Pesticides, “The Dow Chemical Company (and its pesticide division Dow AgroSciences) produces some of the most hazardous home, garden, and food use pesticides that invade our lives on a daily basis -toxic chemicals that are dangerous to children, families and the environment.” The organization says that safer alternative practices and products are now widely available, which makes these pesticides unnecessary. As part of a consumer campaign to stop corporations from marketing hazardous pesticides that are not needed, the booklet informs choices in the marketplace and helps consumers avoid harmful low-level toxic exposure. While the primary focus of this booklet is non-food use pesticides (home, garden and community), many of the hazardous pesticides identified also have food and forestry uses, which are noted.

Why Dow Chemical Company?

Beyond Pesticides’ position:

  • Dow is a leader in the chemical industry in producing poisons that contaminate human health and the environment through a variety of exposure routes;
  • Dow has been a leader in obscuring the science and weakening the regulation of these and other deadly chemicals; and,
  • Dow purchased Union Carbide in 2001, thereby acquiring its assets and liabilities. Union Carbide was responsible for the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India, which remains the worst industrial disaster in human history. Dow refuses to clean up the site, provide safe drinking water, compensate the victims, or disclose chemical information to physicians.

Beyond Pesticides’ The Safer Choice is available online, accompanied by an in-depth resource guide, providing citations, studies, product labels and more. Activists are planning a Global Day of Action for Bhopal this Friday, December 3. To learn more about Bhopal, the actions that they are taking, and how to get involved, visit www.bhopal.net.