by Yasmin Ajirniar
Last week, on Tuesday, September 23rd, French courts delivered a heavy blow to Dow France, one that cost 99 million euros in frozen assets. The action serves as a preventative measure, should the company attempt to move its money outside of the country prior its January trial in 2020. Workers and workers’ families who have been left uncompensated for damages caused by the product, Nemagon, have filed a lawsuit against Dow Chemical, the multi-national manufacturing parent company of Dow France.
First of all, although the workers rights are now being pursued in 2019, it is necessary to return to the 1970’s when Nemagon, a pesticide, was banned in the United States for the health risks it poses. However, large companies such as Dow Chemical which are headquartered in the United States, continued to produce and distribute the pesticide, particularly in South American countries. For example, in Nicaragua, thousands of banana farm workers were sterilized from using Nemagon.
In spite of legal action taken by the workers in Nicaragua, Dow Chemical refused to compensate the workers who were denied the right a family, a fundamental human right, claiming that the trial had been unfair towards the company. This was decades ago. Today in France, where a large share of Dow operations, Dow finances, and affected workers reside, the case has reappeared.
Dow Chemical is no stranger to French Courts which are known to undertake legal cases involved the rights of an individual. Two years ago, in 2017, products containing sulfoxaflor from Dow Chemical were questioned regarding their toxicity towards bees.
In consideration of the timing, location, and application of the ruling, the decision by the French courts in early 2020 will be significant, and it will be valuable to follow the progression of the lawsuit. How well will Dow France defend its case against the workers? According to European law, the precedent the court sets should apply across the European Union. What precedent will the court establish? And will it be actually be enforced outside French borders?
8/12/2019 12:28:19 pm
This is a well written article that describes a controversial topic of pesticides. If this chemical is deadly to humans and animals I believe it should be banned throughout the world. There are better ways to preserve produce than toxic chemicals such as organic preservatives among other things. I believe that scientists need to do more studies such as using the Dow chemical on laboratory animals to see how the chemical affects them for more decisive evidence. It will be interesting to see what scientists can prove before the ruling in 2020.
10/12/2019 08:33:29 am
This article was well constructed. It highlighted the past and showed what the future holds for Dow Chemical. Being that the chemical is banned in the United States for health reasons it can't be good for the environment and I believe that Dow Chemical has to understand that. It bothers me that some people live for the paycheck rather than for the good of the world. There are tons of ways to make money, but we only get one world.
10/12/2019 02:44:42 pm
This was a fantastic article that explained the unbiased facts about the Dow Chemical. It intrigues me that other countries would rather make money than protect the health of their citizens. What types of effects could the chemical have on climate change? Do you believe other countries will decide to ban it?
11/12/2019 05:05:35 pm
This is sad news for the workers. Since this happened in Sepetmber, the workers have already been suffering for several months. It's devastating knowing that this chemical could create damage to our climate. How much and how quickly do you think this chemical will effect climate change? Will the trial be enough to fix the damage that has already been done?
14/12/2019 11:35:03 am
It is shown in the past that these chemicals are detrimental and hurtful to the climate and the people. If Dow Chemicals continues down the path that they are on, then it will hurt the climate even more. This will cause us to focus on more things when it comes to saving the Earth; as a result, it will become harder to save the Earth and help the climate. Dow Chemicals needs to realize that the well-being of the people and planet is more important than their profits.
16/12/2019 01:30:08 pm
Dow chemicals has been producing and distributing these harmful chemicals years after they have been banned. These chemicals are affecting and affected their past works and dow chemicals is dying them compensation for the damages they caused. This article was well constructed and informing of the harmful chemicals that dow produced and how they affected their workers.
16/12/2019 07:56:16 pm
This is a very well-written article about the negative impacts of pesticide. I agree that it is quite ridiculous that based on how harmful Dow Chemical are, France is ignorant and refuses to outlaw this. In addition to further research, pesticides not only destroys the ecosystem during runoffs, it causes health problems including "blisters, blindness, nausea...;" likewise, the country is wasting a large portion of money on this. There are other alternatives such as a "sticky board" which is a painted yellow paper covered with a sticky substance that can attract insects. Without a doubt, the use of pesticides is to improve the quantity of food, but at the same time it decreases the quality. I am positive that within the next decade, we will figure out a solution for this problem, but for now, base on the details I have read, I think it is for the best if we eliminate this harmful chemical.
17/12/2019 09:38:54 am
Dow chemicals are very detrimental to the environment and it is very sad to hear about this. I fell very bad for the workers knowing that it has been happening for months and they have been suffering since then. It is also very disappointing that countries care more about making money than saving the earth and the health of citizens. How fast will this effect the environment? From this information it sounds very serious and something that needs to be taken care of soon. I hope there is a trial.
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