Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca, April 25, 2013
18 Asbestos lobbyists will be attending the UN Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva in May. Their goal? To protect the asbestos industry’s profits by defeating health protections
The goal of the Rotterdam Convention is to protect people from being harmed by hazardous substances. But the asbestos industry sees health protections as interfering with their profits.
The Convention promotes environmental and social justice by requiring that countries act responsibly when they export hazardous substances. The Convention provides a legally binding Right of Prior Informed Consent, which enables developing and middle income countries – where most hazardous substances are exported – to better control their borders and better protect the health of their people and their environment.
The asbestos industry, however, makes hundreds of millions of dollars in profits by exporting asbestos. The industry is fighting to be allowed to continue its shameless practice of hiding the fact that asbestos is hazardous. This marketing strategy certainly helps sales, but destroys lives.
Eighteen asbestos lobbyists will be attending the UN Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva with the sole purpose of defeating the recommendation of the Convention’s expert scientific body that chrysotile asbestos – the only form of asbestos sold in the world today – be placed on the Convention’s list of hazardous substances, which would require safety warnings and Prior Informed Consent be obtained before asbestos is exported.
The asbestos lobbyists will be working closely with the Russian government delegation. It is, in fact, impossible to distinguish between the Russian government and the asbestos lobby. Of the 1 million tons of asbestos exported every year, Russia exports three quarters of this amount.
Russia has therefore a big financial interest in in ensuring continued irresponsible trade in chrysotile asbestos and continued marketing of chrysotile asbestos as a product that can be “safely used”.
Russia has indicated that it intends to oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos at the May Rotterdam Convention conference. The Russian government’s delegates and the asbestos lobbyists will be working hand in glove to achieve their ignoble goal.
ASBESTOS LOBBYISTS ATTENDING THE ROTTERDAM CONVENTION CONFERENCE
Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers’ Association, India
Mr. Abhaya Shankar, Chairman, Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers’ Association
Mr. Vivek Chandra Rao Sripalle, Director, Safety Health and Environment, Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers’ Association
Association Ukrainian Chrysotile Corporation
Mr. Oleksandr Sierkin, Chairman, Association Ukrainian Chrysotile Corporation
Mr. Ruslan Koval, Executive director, Association Ukrainian Chrysotile Corporation
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCI RF)
Dr. Garislav Shkolenok Expert, Monitoring and Analysis Branch, Department of Administrative Support to Business, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation
Chrysotile Association, Russia
Mr. Konstantin Saranchuk, Legal Advisor, Chrysotile Association, Moscow
Mr. Vladimir Galitsyn, Executive Director, Chrysotile Association, Moscow
Confederation of Employers of Kazakhstan (CEK)
Mr. Nurlan Omarov, Advisor, Confederation of Employers of Kazakhstan(CEK)
Federação Internacional dos Trabalhadores do Amianto Crisotila FITAC, Brazil
Mr. Adilson Conceiçao Santana, President, Federação Internacional dos Trabalhadores do Amianto Crisotila FITAC
Indian Chemical Council (ICC)
Mr. Shunmugam Ganesan, Chairman, International Treaties Expert Committee, Indian Chemical Council (ICC)
Mr. Marcondes Braga De Moraes, International Affairs Coordinator, International Affairs, Indian Chemical Council (ICC)
Instituto Mexicano de Fibroindustria A.C.
Mr. Antonio Galván Carriles, Presidente del Consejo Directivo, Instituto Mexicano de Fibroindustria A.C.
International Alliance of Trade Union Organizations “Chrysotile”, Asbest, Russia
Mr. Andrey Kholzakov, Chairman / Adviser for international affairs, International Alliance of Trade Union Organizations “Chrysotile”
Mr. Dmitrii Selianin, Adviser for international affairs, International Alliance of Trade Union Organizations “Chrysotile”
International Chrysotile Association, Quebec
Mr. Emiliano Alonso, Legal Advisor, International Chrysotile Association
Mr. Jean-Marc LeBlond, Chairman, International Chrysotile Association
Vietnam National Roof Sheet Association
Mrs. Bui Thi Thu Hang, Secretary, Vietnam National Roof Sheet Association
Ms. Pham Thu Thuy, Vietnam National Roofsheet Association