Dove soap, Lipton tea, Magnum ice cream: the multi-billion-euro company behind these products is also responsible for the mercury poisoning of a small town in India. And it’s refusing to clean up its toxic mess properly.
In 2001, it was revealed that mercury from a Unilever thermometer factory in the town of Kodaikanal had soaked into the soil, sickening factory workers and contaminating the nearby forests and lake.
The deadly neurotoxins are still there, even as you’re reading this. And Unilever’s shoddy attempts to clean up the contamination -- which would never pass muster in Europe -- may have only made things worse.
Together with our partners from WeMove and Jhatkaa, we’re putting pressure on Unilever to finally take responsibility for the toxic disaster it left behind in Kodaikanal. Will you help make sure CEO Paul Polman gets the message?
“Clean up right, clean the site, treat us like we were white!” -- That’s the message of a new music video, “Kodaikanal Still Won’t”, in which musicians Sofia Ashraf, TM Krishna and Amrit Rao point out Unilever’s unacceptable double standard. The target for its cleanup of Kodaikanal is 20mg of mercury per kilo of soil. That’s 20 times the legal limit in the UK, where Unilever plc is headquartered.
Would CEO Paul Polman accept 20mg of mercury in his own backyard? Would he agree to an untested soil remediation method like the one Unilever tried in Kodaikanal at the end of last year -- which, according to some reports, might have actually released more mercury into the air and water?
Of course he wouldn't. That’s why we’ve got to get his attention -- just like we did two years ago, when pressure from organisations like Jhatkaa and the public support of tens of thousands of SumOfUs members like you got Unilever to finally compensate its poisoned factory workers. Together, we can make sure Polman knows that before he snatches up any more UN trophies for “Champion of the Earth”, he needs to properly reckon with Kodaikanal.
Tell Paul Polman and Unilever: Clean up the mercury in Kodaikanal once and for all!
(Image modified from original by Amolmande18, from Wikimedia Commons)
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