In honor of International Human Rights Day, groups around the country call upon the U. S. State Department to address human rights violations of the “Big 6” Multi-National pesticide industry corporations
Groups urge immediate action to address human rights violations perpetrated by the six largest pesticide and agricultural biotechnology corporations at home and abroad
December 11, 2013, Washington, DC—In recognition of International Human Rights Day yesterday, a coalition of farmworker, food, public health, Indigenous Peoples, and environmental health and justice advocates delivered a unique photo-petition with over fifty “photostatements” to top officials at the U.S. State Department and White House urging them to hold the world’s six largest pesticide multi-national corporations accountable for human rights abuses. During the first week in December — in remembrance of the worst pesticide disaster in world history at Bhopal, India on December 3, 1984 and culminating on December 10, International Human Rights Day — the groups collected widespread support and pictorial testimonies from people demanding an end to human rights violations by multi-national pesticide companies. The petition — addressed to Jason Pielemeier of the Business and Human Rights Section at the U.S. Department of State, and Susan Rice, the President’s National Security Advisor — calls upon the US Government to fulfill its obligations to protect human rights from corporate abuse, particularly by the pesticide industry, under the provisions of ‘The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’, an international framework that U.S. officials helped draft. Read more.
Children’s Furniture Contains Harmful Flame Retardant Chemicals
Popular characters hide toxic chemicals in foam in kids’ furniture –exposure may cause health problems for our children
November 20, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – Independent testing found flame retardants in foam furniture for children purchased in 13 states and in Canada, including Alaska. Fire safety scientists are concerned because flame retardant chemicals do not provide fire safety benefits in furniture, yet exposure to these chemicals has been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, infertility and other serious health problems.
“A Spiderman chair that we purchased at a Walmart in Anchorage was tested and it has a harmful flame retardant called Firemaster 550 in it,” says Maricarmen Cruz-Guilloty, Environmental Health and Justice Coordinator from Alaska Community Action on Toxics. “Arctic Indigenous peoples already carry a high burden of many of the other toxic flame retardants in their bodies. Exposure to these chemicals is linked with thyroid disease, learning and developmental disorders, reproductive problems, and certain cancers. Alaska also has the highest rates of birth defects in the nation. Our children should not be exposed to these chemicals. Kids are especially vulnerable to these chemicals.” These persistent chemicals are carried via wind and ocean currents and concentrate in Arctic wildlife and people. People living in the north are also exposed through indoor air and dust and may have higher exposures because homes are closed in a for a greater part of the year. Read more.
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“This is a crisis for the community. Children and elders are going hungry. Freezers which are usually full this time of year are empty.” Says Vi Waghiyi, Native Village of Savoonga tribal member and Environmental Health and Justice Program Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics. Listen to Vi on Native American Calling, 9/20/13.
Alaskans go to Washington DC Capitol for a “National Stroller Brigade”
St. Lawrence Island delegation hand delivers chemical reform resolutions to Senators Begich and Murkowski
Washington DC, October 29th, 2013 – Alaskan women have joined hundreds of mothers, nurses, and cancer survivors in the nation’s capital demanding action for real reform on toxic chemicals to revise the 37 year old Toxic Substance Control Act. The group will have a press rally at 10 am ET on October 29th at the national capitol with a stroller brigade asking congress to strengthen the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, a bill to overhaul antiquated laws governing toxic chemicals. The stroller brigade may be viewed live at 6 am, Alaska time here: www.saferchemicals.org/strollerbrigade.
The Alaska Federation of Natives passed resolution 13-23 which states in part: “We trust that our Alaska Senators will read this resolution and join us and other groups in developing and advancing the TSCA reform legislation that provides meaningful protections from, and safer solutions to, harmful chemicals.” Two delegates from St. Lawrence Island will hand deliver chemical policy reform resolutions from St. Lawrence Island to Senators Begich and Murkowski tomorrow with the Stroller Brigade. Read more.
News Release October 17, 2013, Rome, Italy, IPEN – International POPs Elimination Network
(Rome, Italy) A UN expert committee recommended global action on pentachlorophenol – a pesticide used for wood treatment including utility poles. The Committee justified its recommendation for the Stockholm Convention due to pentachlorophenol’s persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport, and its toxic impacts. Governments around the world will decide on the recommendation in 2015.
“This is the beginning of the end of pentachlorophenol,” said Pam Miller, Alaska Community Action on Toxics. “Pentachlorophenol has global health implications since it is found in the bodies of people throughout the world including Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic. Now governments and the private sector need to get to work to eliminate this toxic chemical.” Read more.
Public health and safety concerns are brought to the board’s attention – yet they still pursue their toxic agenda
Anchorage, AK, September 4, 2013 – The Alaska Mental Health Trust continues to lease coal resources to the highest bidder in spite of public health concerns around coal development in Alaska communities. On Wednesday September 4th, Mothers and others against mercury and coal development in Alaska delivered over 700 petitions with a stroller brigade to the Alaska Mental Health Trust (AMHT) board meeting at the AMHT headquarters from Tikishla Park in Anchorage beginning at 3 pm. Participants in the stroller brigade delivered petitions and provided testimony about the public health threats of coal mining and combustion in Alaska.
Lisa Wade , a mother, and Chickaloon Village Tribal citizen, tribal council member, and Health and Social Services Director for Chickaloon Village Traditional Council states: “These coal mines threaten the health of our children, our salmon, our water and air quality, our traditions, and our way of life.” Learn more.