Dow Agro Sciences in bribery scandal
Govt slaps showcause notice on Dow subsidiary
Hindustan Times, July 22 2010
New Delhi - The government has showcaused a subsidiary of US-based Dow Chemicals, asking them to furnish reasons why they shouldn't be blacklisted for bribing Indian officials for selling an insecticide that was banned in America. Dow Chemicals had bought the Union Carbide after the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Also show-caused along with Dow Agro Sciences India Private Limited is Agro Pack, a product formulator of the same company, for facilitating the "payment of illegal ratification" to the Indian officials.
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, in a letter to CPM Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat dated July 15, said the Centre had also ordered a fresh review on the "safety and efficacy" on the sale of pesticides that were cleared for sales after bribing the Indian officials, as established by a CBI inquiry.
Karat, in her letter to Pawar, pointed out that "it was indeed strange that though Dow has had to pay a fine in the US for corrupt practices indulged in within India", the government had not taken action against the Indian officials or the company.
Karat raised the issue of government inaction. The company, Pawar wrote, "paid illegal gratification for expediting registration of three of this products Nuruella D, which has Chlorpyriphos, and is banned in the US, Pride and Dursban between 1996 and 2001.
"Though the Registration Committee had cleared the pesticide in question with reference to their safety and efficacy in a review carried out in 2007, it has been asked to conduct a fresh review", Pawar wrote.
He added that "a show cause notice has been issued to Dow Agro Sciences India Private Limited and Agro Pak as to why they shouldn't be blacklisted and excluded from purchases of pesticides made by the government", Pawar wrote.