by Laurie Kazan-Allen

This afternoon, asbestos victims and ban asbestos campaigners held a New Delhi conference at the Press Club of India to call for an immediate asbestos ban in the face of growing consumption (see: OEHNI Media Release). A letter they released, signed by over 300 eminent experts from 36 countries, condemned aggressive marketing by asbestos industry stakeholders1 in India. In the text of this letter, which was sent to Indian Government Ministers, 2 the international correspondents pointed out the deplorable behaviour of the ruthless asbestos lobby:

“The International Chrysotile Association and the Asbestos Cement Products’ Manufacturers Association of India (ACPMA) are disseminating deadly, deceptive misinformation about chrysotile asbestos, that will cause suffering and loss of life for years to come.”3

The industry’s discredited propaganda is spread by a network of hired scientists and spin doctors in order to create doubt where no doubt exists: “Not a single reputable agency in the world supports the claim put forward by the International Chrysotile Association and the Asbestos Cement Products’ Manufacturers Association of India that chrysotile can be used safely.” The letter concludes with a heartfelt request that the Ministers “put the health interests of the people of India ahead of the vested interests of the asbestos industry.”

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