Dow Chemical Company touts its recognition of World Environment Day, on June 5, through a press release. Neil Hawkins, Dow’s vice president of Sustainability and EH&S says, “Dow supports World Environment Day and the United Nations’ effort to create awareness around global environmental issues, including forest preservation … We are committed to fostering biodiversity by creating meaningful partnerships that advance sustainable development and environmentally-aware communities.”
I have two words for Dow: BIG DEAL. Dow is the company that brings you such wonderful products such as pesticides and genetically engineered seeds. In fact, Dow is one of five companies which dominate the genetically engineered seed market. Dow is also the largest chemical company in the U.S., and the second largest in the world. The Pesticide Action Network describes Dow as “a leading producer of pesticides, plastics, hydrocarbons and other chemicals.”
Dow produced some rather nasty chemicals in the past: Agent Orange and napalm used during the Vietnam War, and 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP). DBCP is one that I have had some experience with having grown up in the San Joaquin Valley of California, the agricultural center of the world. It can also be known as pesticide central. DBCP has not been used for a long time, except as “an intermediate in chemical synthesis,” according to the EPA. However, it contaminated the ground water and still remains in drinking water in rural areas in the San Joaquin Valley. My grammar school growing up had to use bottled water at one point because of DBCP contamination. The EPA claims that “no information is available on the chronic effects of DBCP in humans.” You can be sure the chronic effects are not pleasant.
Thank you, Dow for the DBCP you manufacture which I ingested as a child. I am equally sure the Vietnamese people, not to mention the U.S. service men who fought in Vietnam, thank you for all the Agent Orange sprayed and the napalm dropped. The effects of your products will continue, and we are all so grateful for them.
The above paragraph is as disingenuous as Dow’s claims that it is becoming an environmentally friendly company. Environmentally friendly companies do not manufacture toxic products.