A toxic cloud over London 2012

Barry Gardiner MP calls for the London 2012 Olympic Games to drop Dow Chemical’s sponsorship until they accept responsibility for the Bhopal disaster.

Barry Gardiner MP (Labour, Brent North) is Chair of Labour Friends of India

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) have risked the international reputation of the Olympic Games and the legacy of London 2012 by awarding a major Olympic contract and partnership deal to Dow Chemicals, the company who still refuse to take responsibility for the Bhopal disaster, one of the worst industrial accidents of the twentieth century.

On the night of December 2nd 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, leaked 27 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate.

None of the six safety systems were operational or functional, allowing the gas to spread throughout the city of Bhopal.

Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 25,000 have died as a result of their exposure. More than 100,000 people still suffer ailments caused by the accident and the subsequent pollution at the plant state.

In 2001, Union Carbide was purchased by Dow Chemical Company. Dow denies responsibility for Union Carbide’s Bhopal liabilities and claims that a 1991 deal, which paid victims a derisory sum – £630  – equivalent to only 5 years medical cover, closed the matter.

The Indian government is in the middle of a $1 billion legal action against Dow, with another hearing for increased compensation expected in weeks at the Supreme Court.

Despite all this, in August LOCOG awarded Dow the contract to provide the Olympic stadium wrap, and the Olympic partnership status and advertising opportunities which go with it. This means Dow’s name will be writ large over the visual centrepiece of the Olympic Games in the run up to 2012.

When Dow accepted the award of the Olympic wrap, their UK managing director bragged about Dows “strong commitment to sustainability”. Their refusal to accept proper responsibility for the victims of Bhopal makes a mockery of that commitment.

In no sense does Dow meet the environmental, social and ethical standards demanded by LOCOGs own Sustainable Sourcing Code and I urge LOCOG to think again in order to protect the reputation of the Olympic legacy for Britain.

India’s friends in the House of Commons, including Labour Friends of India, will bring every pressure to bear on LOCOG, with a cross party campaign to support the victims of Bhopal, and stop another injustice being visited upon them.

See also:

How we sold off the right to protest to the one per centAlex Hern, November 3rd 2011

Boris fiddles as London prepares for transport chaosAlex Hern, October 19th 2011

Exposed: Boris Johnson’s efforts to evade air pollution rulesDarren Johnson AM, October 4th 2011

Government continues not being greenest everAlex Hern, October 3rd 2011

Is a ‘green populism’ possible, and can Labour help foster it?Guy Shrubsole, September 26th 2011

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27 Responses to “A toxic cloud over London 2012”

  1. malcolm

    Concerned Dow Chemicals sponsor the Olympics? http://t.co/iJgbcQfZ LOCOG based in Canary Wharf, so you can't protest it http://t.co/YKGf4jhg

  2. Barry Gardiner MP

    RT @leftfootfwd: A toxic cloud over London 2012 http://t.co/jsrd0MNH

  3. BhopalMedicalAppeal

    Toxic cloud over #London2012 http://t.co/1CRlTghq #Dow #Bhopal #pesticide #LordCoe #Obama #BorisJohnson

  4. Team Gardiner

    New article by Barry Gardiner MP on @leftfootfwd "A toxic cloud over London 2012" read it at: http://t.co/X3PEGpiK

  5. moodindi

    A toxic cloud over London 2012 http://t.co/1CRlTghq

  6. Alex Braithwaite

    Concerned Dow Chemicals sponsor the Olympics? http://t.co/iJgbcQfZ LOCOG based in Canary Wharf, so you can't protest it http://t.co/YKGf4jhg

  7. London 2012 Blogposts - A toxic cloud over London 2012 | Left Foot ForwardLondon 2012 Olympics News

    […] the article here: A toxic cloud over London 2012 | Left Foot Forward This entry was posted in London 2012 Blogposts. Bookmark the permalink. ← Do you want […]

  8. Tom Chance

    Darren Johnson AM, Green Party Member of the Assembly, asked the Mayor of London to press LOCOG to review this decision, and the Mayor declined:

    http://mqt.london.gov.uk/mqt/public/question.do?id=37964

  9. Tom Yates

    Concerned Dow Chemicals sponsor the Olympics? http://t.co/iJgbcQfZ LOCOG based in Canary Wharf, so you can't protest it http://t.co/YKGf4jhg

  10. Mike Wells

    Toxic cloud over #London2012 http://t.co/1CRlTghq #Dow #Bhopal #pesticide #LordCoe #Obama #BorisJohnson

  11. dw11138375

    A toxic cloud over London 2012 | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/GGYJGbY9 via @addthis

  12. Prem

    I whole-heartedly appreciate the efforts of UK folks who are committed to bring justice to Bhopal gas disaster’s victims and survivors. Please keep up the fight.

  13. Nick Major

    A toxic cloud over London 2012 | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/GGYJGbY9 via @addthis

  14. Nick Major

    Shame on the London Olympics- toxic sponsors Dow Chemicals, killers of 25,000 in Bhopal, India. See http://t.co/L3wu0a88

  15. eleanor

    A toxic cloud over London 2012: The Olympics is tainted by the Bhopal disaster, writes @BarryGardiner: http://t.co/iJgbcQfZ

  16. nomadicorganics

    British MP opposes #Dow sponsorship of London #Olympics for their failure to clean up Bhopal – http://t.co/Mke7yIpA

  17. Tamworth Talks

    @thisisTamworth A toxic cloud over London 2012 http://t.co/hqX8hRjr

  18. thisistamworth

    @thisisTamworth A toxic cloud over London 2012 http://t.co/hqX8hRjr

  19. dean raybourne

    A toxic cloud over London 2012: The Olympics is tainted by the Bhopal disaster, writes @BarryGardiner: http://t.co/iJgbcQfZ

  20. : planetpmc

    A toxic cloud over London 2012 http://t.co/QoDgXuIe

  21. FARAH EDWARDS KHAN

    RT @leftfootfwd: A toxic cloud over London 2012 http://t.co/0va3brNp

  22. 45apl

    New developments in #Dow #London2012 #Olympics row – rpt nxt wk; meantime, here's the background frm @BarryGardiner: http://t.co/fkY219vx

  23. Paul Hilder

    New developments in #Dow #London2012 #Olympics row – rpt nxt wk; meantime, here's the background frm @BarryGardiner: http://t.co/fkY219vx

  24. Kelly

    New developments in #Dow #London2012 #Olympics row – rpt nxt wk; meantime, here's the background frm @BarryGardiner: http://t.co/fkY219vx

  25. How the Olympics privatised your mouth | Left Foot Forward

    […] A toxic cloud over London 2012 – Barry Gardiner MP, November 4th […]

  26. Simon Cheshire

    A toxic cloud over London 2012 | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/Jb1FofvP

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