Bhopal Survivor calls on London Olympics to drop Dow Sponsorship
With 200 days to the Olympics, Farah Edwards, a survivor of the Bhopal Disaster, asked Lord Coe and Boris Johnson to taste Bhopal drinking water, bottled as B’eauPal mineral water, and to drop Dow as an Olympic sponsor. London, UK. 9th January 2012
With just 200 days to the London Olympics,Farah Edwards, a survivor of the Bhopal Disaster, challenged Lord Coe, and Mayor Boris Johnson, to taste some Bhopal drinking water, bottled as' B’eauPal' mineral water. London, UK. 09/01/2012
Farah Edwards is a survivor of the Bhopal disaster, when Union Carbide, a subsidiary of Dow Chemicals, released a huge dense cloud of lethal gas from their plant in was released on the night of December 2-3, 1984. The government estimates of the immediate deaths were more than 3,700, and since then the deaths have risen to between 8,000 and 25,000 people. Around 100,000 to 200,000 people are thought to have permanent injuries and the number continues to grow as much of the contamination produced by the disaster has not been cleaned up
Farah's aunt died on April 2, 1987 as a result of the disaster, which not only released tons of toxic gas but after the incident Union Carbide also recklessly dumped many other highly toxic chemicals and left the plant to decay, resulting in highly contaminated groundwater across a very large area. Among the contaminants are very high levels of chlorinated compounds. A Swiss lab analysis found carbon tetrachloride at up to 2,400 time the WHO guidelines.
Union Carbide has always refused to accept full responsibility for the disaster, and continue to fight the case both in Indian and US courts. The company is owned by Dow Chemicals who are one of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics.
In front of the Olympic clock in Trafalgar Square, 200 days before the opening, Farah Edwards read the following statement:
I am here today to remind you that only 200 days are left for London to drop Dow Chemical's sponsorship from what is claimed to be the most sustainable Olympics ever
Thousand of families in Bhopal are being poisoned today by water contaminated by Dow Chemical's business.
They have asked me to invite Lord Coe and Mr Johnson to Bhopal to drink just a single sip of the water that they themselves have to consume every day of their lives.
By allowing Dow Chemical to be a sponsor Lord Coe is encouraging Dow to continue poisoning the unborn.
It is ironic that champion runner Sebastian Coe is helping Dow to run away from its liabilities in Bhopal.
Also speaking in front of the Olympic clock in Trafalgar Square was Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North and Chair of 'Labour Friends of India'. He held up a bottle of water from Bhopal, bottled for the occasion as a mineral water, 'B'eau Pal' and also challenged Lord Coe and London Mayor Boris Johnson to drink some of it, and invited them to go to Bhopal and see the ongoing contamination there with their own eyes. He called for the London Olympic organisers (LOCOG) to drop Dow Chemical Company as a sponsor.
Gardiner had earlier raised the issue of Bhopal at the G20 climate change conference in Durban, where a 2 minute silence was held to mark the 27th anniversary of the disaster.
The Indian government has supported the call for Dow to be dropped as a games sponsor, asking the Indian Olympic Association to take up the matter with both LOCOG and the International Olympic Committee. It remains possible that India will try to persuade others to join it in a boycott of the London games if Dow remains as a sponsor.