Friday, February 12, 2010

Dumping waste slops in Ivory Coast - Trafigura - report by Richard Wilson

Read the background to the Newsnight report on waste in Ivory Coast - see Richard Wilson's blog and view the BBC Newsnight report (YouTube).
NOTE TO EDITORS In September 2009, personal injury proceedings brought against Trafigura in the English High Court by around 30,000 Ivorians were settled. As part of that settlement, a joint statement was agreed and issued by all the parties and their legal advisers.

The question of the effect of the slops had been considered by 20 independent (and in many cases, world-renowned) experts appointed by the parties in what was by far the most detailed analysis anywhere in the world since the Probo Koala incident. Those experts were agreed that no link could be established between the slops and deaths, miscarriages, still births or other serious and chronic injuries, 

and this was recorded in the joint statement. That statement was read in open Court to Mr Justice MacDuff, the Judge who had been due to hear the trial, at a hearing on 23 September 2009. His Lordship endorsed the statement, based on his knowledge of the case, as being “100% truthful”. In turn, Trafigura’s Reply in these libel proceedings reflected extensive input from the same leading, independent experts instructed by Trafigura. They included experts in pathology, obstetrics, toxicology, oil chemistry, modelling and epidemiology, all of whom expressly approved the analysis set out in the Reply, the conclusions of which have today been accepted by the BBC. The Reply is now a public document and a copy can be provided on request.
  • Trafigura Statement
    • "Trafigura was not responsible for dumping the Probo Koala's slops in Abidjan. The slops were dumped by an independent contractor, Compagnie Tommy, which was appointed lawfully and in good faith on the basis that it would dispose of the slops in a safe and legal manner. Trafigura cannot have foreseen the reprehensible and illegal way in which Compagnie Tommy then proceeded to dump the slops.
  • Greenpeace report 2006
    • The wastes disposed of around the city of Abidjan are liquid sludge containing large quantities of hydrocarbons, contaminated with at least three substances: hydrogen sulphide, mercaptans and caustic soda 
    Meet Richard Wilson in Winchester on 25 February 2010 at 7.30pm at Skeptics in the Pub to discuss this case and Free Speech and Scepticism.

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