Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI). Asbestos Free India campaign of BANI is inspired by trade union movement and right to health campaign. BANI has been working since 2000. It works with peoples movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Selling our reputation: The Ottawa Citizen

Note: India is also an ally of Canada in its promotion of Chrysotile Asbestos along with Russia & others. Indian delegation in Rome is in a corporate grip. The delegation does not represent the Indian citizens, it solely represents the corporate interests. As a nation India is making a laughing stock of itself by saying the killer asbestos is not hazardous.

October 28, 2008

Canada is the only western democracy opposed to declaring the chrysotile form of asbestos a dangerous substance under the Rotterdam Convention, an international treaty designed to protect developing nations from toxic trade. And who are Canada's allies in the battle against regulating the export of this carcinogen?

Iran, Russia and Zimbabwe.

That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Canada's position.

Canada's increasingly isolated position on asbestos exports has earned the country criticism at home -- including a damning editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. As for our good name abroad, Citizen columnist Keith Spicer has reported on at least one public protest in Europe denouncing Canadian irresponsibility.

The federal government's position is hypocritical. Here at home, Canadian workers are protected against the dangers of asbestos by worker safety laws. Yet the government has spent millions promoting its export to countries such as India which, as the Citizen series "The Asbestos Time Bomb" points out, has left a deadly legacy of asbestos-related health problems.

Canada has pumped more than $19 million into the Chrysotile Institute, an advocacy group. It has also commissioned a study into the risks of chrysotile exposure, but kept the report secret. And it has consistently blocked the inclusion of chrysotile in the Rotterdam Convention, which would simply mean that importing governments are notified before it is shipped to them.

Canada is doing all of this because we happen to be the world's largest producer of the chrysotile form of asbestos. Canadians need to recognize that this export revenue comes with a price, as measured in the damage to our international reputation.

The Ottawa Citizen

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