Tuesday Jul 31, 201202:50 PM GMT
‘Criminal sponsor leaves toxic stain on London Olympics’
Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:49PM
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I think the question of ethics and sponsorship really hasn’t been looked at effectively by the Olympics [officials].”

Meredith Alexander, a former commissioner of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012

Sponsorship of London 2012 Olympics by a criminal US corporation accused of killing thousands of innocent people has undermined the ethics of the Games, a former Olympics supervisor tells Press TV.


“I think the question of ethics and sponsorship really hasn’t been looked at effectively by the Olympics [officials],” said Meredith Alexander a former commissioner of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, a body monitoring the Games.

She was referring to the sponsorship of the event by US corporate giant Dow Chemicals, which is sponsoring a £7 million decorative wrap that sheathes London's Olympic Stadium.

The corporation faces a £1.1 billion compensation lawsuit by the Indian Supreme Court over the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster in India, which is estimated to have killed 7,000 to 10,000 people immediately and another 15,000 in the past 20 years.

Alexander denounced Dow Chemicals as “a company with one of the worst abuses of human rights by a corporation in a generation.”

“As a result of this contract, Dow’s toxic legacy is going to be a stain on the conscious of all Londoners,” she pointed out.

The former commissioner argued that the contract was “not necessary” as “It’s not going to help the athletes run any faster. It’s not really going to make the day any brighter for the spectators. It’s certainly not going to give anyone a better view.”

“I really would like to see the London Games organizers cancel the contract because from what I understand from the victims and the families of the people who died in Bhopal, that is what they are calling for,” Alexander added.

The Bhopal disaster, dubbed the world’s worst industrial catastrophe, occurred on December 2, 1984, at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in the capital of Indian Madhya Pradesh state.

The Union Carbide hammered a compensation settlement of £302 million with thousands of victims of the deadly gas leak in 1989 but survivors and activists say Dow Chemical legal responsibilities are far from over.

The activists say the Bhopal gas disaster site remains to be cleaned and children born to survivors of the catastrophe are born with severe health problems including cancer.

India's Supreme Court informed Dow Chemicals in February 2011 that it is holding hearings on a government-backed call for an additional £1.1 billion in compensation for the victims.

In the run-up to the Olympics, Amnesty International set up an email campaign to call on the Games organizers to review their unethical policy and boycott Dow.

ASH/SS/IS
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