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Dow must take responsibility for Bhopal

Dow must take responsibility for Bhopal, India - Greenpeace

New Plymouth 3 December 2002: On the 18th anniversary of the world's worst chemical disaster, Greenpeace New Zealand joined groups in India and worldwide demanding that Dow takes responsibility for its toxic legacy in Bhopal, India.

"Greenpeace and the people of Bhopal continue to remind Dow, that this tragedy did not end in 1984. People in Bhopal are still suffering because the site remains strewn with hazardous chemicals," said Carmen Gravatt, Greenpeace New Zealand toxics campaigner.

"Dow must take responsibility for its toxic legacy, rehabilitate and fully compensate survivors and clean up the hazardous mess that is still poisoning the Indian town and its people."

On this day in 1984, in Bhopal India, lethal gas leaked from the now Dow owned pesticide plant killing 8,000 people over three days. Since then a further 12,000 people have died and 150,000 continue to suffer chronic illness.

In India yesterday, survivors of the gas disaster and their supporters formed a procession through central Bombay to Dow's headquarters where they delivered contaminated soil and water from the disaster scene and challenged Dow, as the new owners to clean up Bhopal.

"Bhopal is a shocking example of a corporate crime against the environment and the people of India. Every day that Dow absconds from justice by denying responsibility is another nail in the coffin for the people of Bhopal."

In New Zealand, Greenpeace delivered a letter to Dow New Zealand demanding Dow take responsibility for the deadly legacy in Bhopal, and hung a 30x 8m banner off Paritutu Rock just across from the Dow factory that read: Life Poisoned Daily.

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The recent soil study in New Plymouth has put Dow's signature chemical throughout Paritutu and the surrounding area. Just as people in Bhopal are calling for justice so too are people affected by contamination from the Dow plant in New Plymouth. Corporate responsibility needs to be consistent globally. Dow needs to address the needs of the affected communities here in New Zealand and in India.

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