News & Press

News on the Campaign.

Bhopal Survivors Express Condolences to Japan

  • Posted on: 22 March 2011
  • By: SfB.Website
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Press Statement                    

22-March-2011

At a press conference today, leaders of five organizations of the survivors of the December 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster expressed condolences for the victims of the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan and expressed concerns over the ongoing nuclear disaster. The leaders also demanded immediate suspension of work on the Jaitapur plant and independent review of proposed nuclear reactors in six locations within India.

Rashida Bee of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said that the city in which over 24,000 people have died and many are still dying, can feel the pain of relatives and friends of the thousands of Japanese people who have died due to the Tsunami and earthquake. She expressed hope that the people from all over the world will help the thousands affected to rebuild their lives. She said that by causing irreparable damage to the world environment large corporations are causing and heightening the impact of natural disasters.

Press Statement: Bayer Abandons MIC production In West Virginia

  • Posted on: 18 March 2011
  • By: SfB.Website
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Bayer announces that it will abandon MIC production in Institute West Virginia

Victory for public safety after decades-long community resistance

For inquiries, please contact: Maya Nye, People Concerned About MIC, 304-389-6859

In a surprise announcement today, Bayer CropScience has announced that they will be abandoning plans to restart production of Methyl Isocyanide (MIC) at their Institute, W.V. plant. MIC was the chemical leaked from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India in 1984, killing thousands immediately and thousands more in the many years since the world's worst industrial disaster. In the years since the Bhopal Disaster, many people in Institute have fought to protect their community from a Bhopal-like disaster. Today, they celebrate this announcement as a victory in protecting their community.

Maya Nye, a leader of the local group People Concerned about MIC, and 16 other residents had recently sued Bayer to stop the company from restarting MIC production at the site. In August 2008, there was an explosion at the factory, killing two workers. The equipment that exploded narrowly missed the above ground MIC storage facility. This brought new scrutiny to the site from Congress and the Chemical Safety Board. A congressional hearing concluded that the near disaster would have "eclipsed Bhopal" in magnitude. Bayer spent $36 million to improve safety at the site and reduced their MIC stockpile by 80% following the accident. Activists learned that Bayer was planning to restart MIC production this February and responded with the suit. A judge had issued a temporary injunction to prevent Bayer from restarting MIC production. A hearing was schedule for next Monday to determine if the injunction would be made permanent.

Sanjay Verma, Bhopal survivor and activist had arrived in West Virginia yesterday to testify at the hearing about the real and long term consequences of an MIC disaster. Today, he said:
"Another Bhopal Would Have Taken Place. Today I am happy that Bayer CropScience announced that they were dropping plans to resume production of the chemical, commonly called MIC, and would begin dismantling the unit.. It is not only the victory for residents of a tiny West Virginia town called Institute, it is a victory for the world. We should all celebrate the victory, and at the same time take a resolution that we won't let them manufacture MIC anywhere else. I am sure that this news will encourage people from Bhopal, as they have kept their fight against these corporations for years."

Bayer gives up fight to restart Institute MIC unit

  • Posted on: 18 March 2011
  • By: SfB.Website
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Bayer gives up fight to restart Institute MIC unit - Charleston Gazette
March 18, 2011 - By Ken Ward Jr.
 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bayer CropScience has decided not to restart the unit that makes the deadly chemical methyl isocyanate at its Institute plant, officials revealed today.

Al Emch, a lawyer for the company, told a federal judge that Bayer officials in Germany did not want to restart the MIC unit while there was an ongoing government inspection of the facility.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are conducting a broad review of the plant, including the MIC unit, and have said they may not complete their work until September.

Emch said that timeline made it impossible for Bayer to resume producing the pesticide Temik, which is made with MIC, until after the 2011 growing season had ended.

The move ends a quarter-century effort by some local residents to rid the Kanawha Valley of the Institute plant's stockpile of MIC, the chemical best known for killing thousands of people in a 1984 leak at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India.

"I am heartened with Bayer's decision and believe that we are safer as a result," said Maya Nye, a leader of the local group People Concerned About MIC, and one of 16 residents who had sued to block Bayer from restarting the unit.

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