Help! Somebody stole my brand.

I haven't quite worked out how I feel about the hoax perpretrated last week on the BBC, where a Dow spokesperson was int...

December 8, 2004

I haven’t quite worked out how I feel about the hoax perpretrated last week on the BBC, where a Dow spokesperson was interviewed on the BBC, admitting liability for the Bhopal disaster 20 years on – suggesting that Union Carbide would be sold to create a compensation fund, as the area is still contaminated.

The BBC retracted and apolgised, and you can see Dow’s ‘supposed’ response to that here at Dow Ethics.

Here’s are the crucial para’s.

Dow “Help” Announcement Is Elaborate Hoax

The Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) will NOT be liquidated. (The fake “Dow plan” called for the dissolution and sale of Dow’s fully owned subsidiary, estimated at US$12 billion, to fund compensation and remediation in Bhopal.)

Dow will NOT commit ANY funds to compensate and treat 120,000 Bhopal residents who require lifelong care. The Bhopal victims have ALREADY been compensated; many received about US$500 several years ago, which in India can cover a full year of medical care. (2)

Dow will NOT remediate (clean up) the Bhopal plant site. We do understand that UCC abandoned thousands of tons of toxic chemicals on the site, and that these still contaminate the groundwater which area residents drink. Dow estimates that the Indian government’s recent proposal to commission a study to consider the possibility of proper remediation at some point in the future is fully sufficient.

Dow does NOT urge the US to extradite former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson to India, where he has been wanted for 20 years on multiple homicide charges. (3)

Dow will NOT release proprietary information on the leaked gases, nor the results of studies commissioned by UCC and never released.

Dow will NOT fund research on the safety of Dow endocrine disruptors (ECDs) considered to have long-term negative effects.

Dow DOES agree that “One can’t assign a dollar value to doing what’s morally right,” as hoaxter Finisterra said. That is why Dow acknowledged and resolved many of Union Carbide’s liabilities in the US immediately after acquiring the company in 2001. (4)

Most importantly of all:

Dow shareholders will see NO losses, because Dow’s policy towards Bhopal HAS NOT CHANGED.

Much as we at Dow may care, as human beings, about the victims of the Bhopal catastrophe, we must reiterate that Dow’s sole and unique responsibility is to its shareholders, and Dow CANNOT do anything that goes against its bottom line unless forced to by law.

For more information please contact Marina Ashanin, Corporate Media Relations, +41-1-728-2347, or write to us. Please also see these news articles.

This is brand theft of the highest order, and most disturbing, morally ambiguous sort.

There is clearly a balance to be struck between free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of information – and our deeper need, as a society, to be able to accurately identify who we are speaking to.

Brand theft, whether individual or corporate, is set to be one of the hottest and most contentious topic of the next decade.

The incidence of Phishing (internet data harvesting by posing as a corporate to its customers) in increasing at around 8000% a year…

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