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Toxic legacy for London Olympics as IOC rejects Dow concerns

Amnesty International today said it was extremely disappointed that Olympic organisers are continuing to side with the Dow Chemical Company while refusing to listen to legitimate concerns over the company’s sponsorship of the London 2012 games.

Today the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected the India Olympic Association’s call to terminate Dow Chemicals' sponsorship deal with the IOC and for the 2012 London Games.  

Amnesty International’s Head of Business and Human Rights Seema Joshi said:

“Unbelievably the IOC says Dow is committed to ‘good corporate governance’, shocking when you consider all the facts and that the company denies liability for a corporate disaster the scale of Bhopal, creating a toxic legacy for London 2012.

“London Olympic organisers have repeatedly failed to respond to our requests for a meeting, which would help them to make a fair assessment of the issues surrounding Dow’s responsibility to the victims of Bhopal.”

“Instead, they take a one-sided approach and reply on Dow’s position.”

Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide in 2001. Amnesty does not claim that Dow's responsibilities for the Bhopal disaster emanate from any form of management of the Bhopal facility or Union Carbide at the time of the1984 Bhopal gas disaster.

Union Carbide is a defendant in four legal actions related to Bhopal, including a criminal prosecution in which the company is accused of "culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Despite having been charged in 1987, Union Carbide never appeared before the Courts. The Bhopal factory site continues to be heavily contaminated today.

Seema Joshi continued:

“When Dow bought Union Carbide, it bought liability for the Bhopal disaster.

“As the 100% owner of Union Carbide, Dow has the power to force its subsidiary to face justice, and has responsibility for the clean-up of the Bhopal site.”

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