Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca
The International Chrysotile Association (ICA), the lobby organisation for the global asbestos industry, has produced two new propaganda booklets as part of its efforts to sabotage the upcoming Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva in May 2015. The booklets are entitled Science Based Facts, Relevant Health Issues – 2015 and Rotterdam Convention COP7 MEETING – 2015.
The booklets display either gross ignorance or gross deliberate deception. They hide the fact that the Convention’s committee of scientists from around the world (the Chemical Review Committee) has recommended that chrysotile asbestos be put on the Convention’s list of hazardous substances (Annex III of the Convention), that Parties to the Convention have already agreed that the listing of chrysotile asbestos meets all the criteria of the Convention, and that a tiny handful of asbestos selling and asbestos industry allied countries, led by Canada in the past and today by Russia, have repeatedly blocked the scientific committee’s recommendation, arousing the ire of the rest of the world. Instead, in these booklets, the ICA launches an ugly, bullying attack on the Convention’s staff and is trying to destroy the recommendation of the Chemical Review Committee.
These tactics reveal a level of desperation on the part of the asbestos lobby.
The key players in this sordid endeavour are Jean-Marc Leblond, Chairman of the ICA, who was formerly Vice-President in charge of sales for LAB Chrysotile Inc., the Quebec asbestos mining company, for 21 years; David Bernstein, a scientist who has been paid millions of dollars by the asbestos industry; and Emiliano Alonso, a lawyer with a consulting company that carries out lobbying activities for various industries, particularly in the European Union.