Your Say

 |  July 31, 2012

• Incorrect Assertions about The Dow Chemical Company in your July issue

In his opinion piece about Dow Chemical Company and its support of the Olympics in your July issue, Mr. Fawthrop fails to mention the facts about Dow Chemical’s culpability in the 1984 disaster at Bhopal, India.  In truth, that plant was owned by Union Carbide, not Dow Chemical Co.

In 1984, at the time of the disaster, the plant was owned by UCIL (Union Carbide India Limited), the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), with Indian Government controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1%. In 1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9% share. Union Carbide sold UCIL, the Bhopal plant operator, to McLeod Russel (India Ltd) which renamed UCIL Eveready Industries India Limited in 1994. In 1998, the state of Madhya Predash, India took over the plant site from Eveready Industries.  Dow Chemical Co. purchased UCC in 2001, seven years after UCC had sold its interest in UCIL and over 16 years after the disaster at Bhopal.  Dow Chemical has never been an owner of the site, as asserted in the article.

To claim that Dow is responsible for the incident at Bhopal is as wrong as Mr. Fawthorp’s consistent incorrect use of the company’s name in his article. It’s The Dow Chemical Company not Dow Chemicals!

If he can’t accurately report these facts, it makes one wonder about the veracity of his assertions in other matters.

Nancy Lindley

• A Reply to Ms Lindley:  

Dear Ms Lindley,

You are right to point out that Dow Chemical Company was not connected to Bhopal site in Indian until 2001, when they bought out Union Carbide.

These facts and clarifications were part of the original story, but regrettably an important footnote explaining all this somehow got lost in the production-line…

In any event it was never alleged that DCC was responsible for the accident itself that happened in 1984.

The victims and their lawyers  insist that  in  2001, when Dow Chemical Company took over UNION CARBIDE’s assets, they  acquired not only  the assets  but  also inherit the liabilities including the  toxic liabilities relating to this disastrous industrial accident.

The fact that DCC denies all legal responsibility for the toxic legacy and the ruined lives of former Bhopal workers, does not at all extinguish the ongoing controversy in which the Indian government has supported the campaign to get the IOC Olympics Committee to sever their connections with Dow.  Clearly as the author wrote “Dow is linked to Bhopal” not the original explosion, but the subsequent legacy.

Is your deep concern to exculpate Dow CC from any responsibility in anyway related to your employment as it appears that a Ms Lindley works for Dow CC?

Ms Lindley‘s letter also states “To claim that Dow is responsible for the incident at Bhopal is as wrong as Mr. Fawthorp’s consistent incorrect use of the company’s name in his article. It’s The Dow Chemical Company not Dow Chemical’s!”.

Well talking about accuracy, perhaps you should start by spelling my name correctly. I am not and never have been Mr. Fawthorp.

Tom Fawthrop

• Motor Misunderstandings 

On answering a question about secondhand cars, in your July issue Grace was erroneous on several points. She stated that most new cars are imported to Thailand. This is not true. Thailand is a huge car manufacturer in Southeast Asia. Thailand exports cars to other countries. Thailand builds and exports the Nissan March to Japan.

New cars are more expensive in Thailand because the government places a large tax (not an import tax ), on new cars . Consequently, if new car prices are more expensive, second hand cars prices will also be expensive.

Another factor influencing second hand car prices is supply and demand. The supply of second hand cars in Thailand is small, compared to other countries. The supply of second hand cars in other countries (USA and Europe), has been developing for many years. The supply of second hand cars in Thailand has been developing for just a few years as the Thai people are shifting from motorbikes to cars. A second hand car in Chiang Mai can be a good investment because they don’t rust, in this climate.

W. Barnes

• Thai Salsa

I’m American and that means I love Mexican food. Really love it, ranging from tacquerias to Taco Bell and in Chiang Mai it’s my mission to seek out Mexican food. What Thai-Mex does better than Mexican (really Tex-Mex) is make spicy as hell salsa and I mean real salsa, not tomatillo salsa verde made for ninnies.

In the States, most salsa is a watery tomato paste for gringos to wharf down with baskets of chips. Here, most of the salsa is chili paste, it’s smooth but burns. Mexican hot sauce is giving Thai cooks license to do crazy things. I feel like a masochist whenever I coat my burrito, but the heat is so good I can’t stop. I only notice the burn once I stop eating and the fire lingers like smoldering embers.

Maybe it’s the peppers they use, maybe the natives crave the heat, or maybe Thai-Mex cooks are evil sadists trying to push the hottest peppers they can down peoples’ throats. I don’t know the answer, but I know that I’ll be back and I’ll keep on eating all of the spicy Thai-Mexican I can.

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