Ivory Coast: Toxic waste claims disputed
Date: 18 May 2009
Trafigura has launched a lawsuit against a British TV news programme for alleging that the company had been involved in one of the biggest toxic waste dumping scandals in the world.
According to the BBC's Newsnight, more than 30,000 people in the Ivory Coast have said that poisons in the waste generated by the oil traders were dumped recklessly and had made them ill. The company has not yet clarified which of the programme-makers claims were criticised as being libellous.
Environmental campaigners have been reported by the UK's The Guardian as saying that Trafigura had dumped toxic waste that included hydrogen sulphide. The company has denied the claims.
The BBC said that the waste could have been safely treated and disposed of in Amsterdam. But it said that Trafigura had gone for the cheaper option, which was to send the waste to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. It said that analysis of the waste by Dutch authorities had shown the company's claims that the residue was harmless to be a lie.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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