Today, December 3rd, is the 22nd anniversary of the chemical leak from a Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) pesticide plant in Bhopal. What happened on 12/3 in India was far more devastating than what happened on 9/11.
UCC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical which, like Monsanto, has been destroying lives and poisoning the planet for decades.
Like Monsanto Dow produced the lethal Vietnam War defoliant, Agent Orange. Like Monsanto it dumped thousands of tons of dioxin-laced waste. And like Monsanto it is up to its ears in GMOs.
To contribute to the Bhopal medical appeal http://www.bhopal.org/donations/
EXTRACT: The Bhopal tragedy and now the rush for open air trials of genetically modified crops including food crops show that the lives of common people are not important in our country. The corporations seem to have an open license to commit crimes and get away with killing thousands of people, forcing hundreds of farmers to commit suicide, poisoning the environment and endangering our food sovereignty.
Organic Farming Association of India Orissa Chapter
Twenty two years after the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India, known as the "Hiroshima of the chemical industry," remains the worst industrial disaster in human history. On the night of Dec. 2nd and 3rd, a leak at Union Carbide's, which is now owned by Dow Chemical, pesticide plant in Bhopal released more than 27 tons of methyl isocyanate and other deadly gases.
Among the 500,000 people exposed to the gas, 20,000 have died to date and 120,000 continue to suffer devastating health effects as a result of their exposure. Toxic waste left behind by Union Carbide at the factory site continues to poison the local residents. Today, 150,000 people continue to live with mental and physiological damage besides the 20,000 who have succumbed to them. The next generation will also pay the price for the crime committed by the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) & Dow Chemicals.
Astonishingly, no-one has been held to account for the toxic leak and its appalling consequences - over 20,000 people have died and 100,000 people are living with chronic illnesses. Dow and UCC both deny legal responsibility, with UCC refusing to appear before Indian courts to face trial.
Without consulting the victims, our government agreed for meager financial settlement with UCC and cleared the company from legal liability.
Today, Dow is involved in manufacturing pesticides in our country and a major player in agricultural biotechnology along with Monsanto & Cargill. These three MNCs are the biggest food and agribusiness corporations in the world. They have been responsible for poisoning the environment, bankrupting small farmers. Bt cotton of Mahyco-Monsanto has been responsible for suicides of hundreds of farmers in Vidarbha in Maharastra & in Andrha Pradesh.
Mahyco-Monsanto has been making attempts to introduce Genetically Modified seeds into the farmers' fields with total violation of all safety protocols. But no concrete measures have been initiated by Genetic Engineering Approval Committee to ensure that local genetic resources do not get contaminated. This company with total disregard for bio safety regulation had recently tried to have open air trial of Bt rice near Indira Gandhi Agriculture University in Raipur which has germplasm of 6000 varieties of rice. The civil society organizations had uprooted the Bt rice plants and immediately informed the state government about the serious violations and the dangers involved in this. Had the trial been continued local varieties of rice could have been contaminated.
That would have strengthened the grip of the corporation on our food system and threaten our food sovereignty.
The Bhopal tragedy and now the rush for open air trials of genetically modified crops including food crops show that the lives of common people are not important in our country. The corporations seem to have an open license to commit crimes and get away with killing thousands of people, forcing hundreds of farmers to commit suicide, poisoning the environment and endangering our food sovereignty.
The struggle of Bhopal survivors for the last 22 years to fight for their rights is a source of inspiration for farmer organizations to uphold our food sovereignty.
Convenor Organic Farming Association of India Orissa Chapter