Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "Dow Chemical" ...

  • Can You Fight Poverty With A Five-Star Hotel?

    My story is about the World Bank’s private investing arm, the International Finance Corporation, the IFC. It reveals that the IFC is a profit-oriented, deal-driven organization that not only fails to fight poverty, its stated mission, but may exacerbate it in its zeal to earn a healthy return on investment. The article details my investigation through hundreds of primary source and other documents, dozens of interviews around the world and my trip to Ghana to see many projects first-hand, to recount that the IFC hands out billions in cut-rate loans to wealthy tycoons and giant multinationals in some of the world’s poorest places. My story details the IFC’s investments with a who’s who of giant multinational corporations: Dow Chemical, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Vodafone, and many more. It outlines that the IFC funds fast-food chains like Domino's Pizza in South Africa and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jamaica. It invests in upscale shopping malls in Egypt, Ghana, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. It backs candy-shop chains in Argentina and Bangladesh; breweries with global beer behemoths like SABMiller and with other breweries in the Czech Republic, Laos, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania; and soft-drink distribution for the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their competitors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Russia, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, and more. The criticism of most such investments -- from a broad array of academics, watchdog groups and local organizations in the poor countries themselves -- is that these investments make little impact on poverty and could just as easily be undertaken without IFC subsidies. In some cases, critics contend, the projects hold back development and exacerbate poverty, not to mention subjecting affected countries to pollution and other ills.
  • Children of Bhopal

    In 1984, the Union Carbide pesticides factory in Bhopal, India leaked 40 tons of the highly poisonous gas, methyl isocyanate. Fifteen thousand people died, and those who survived have "endured horrific health problems over the past 26 years." Because the factory was never cleaned up, residents (including children) who still live in the impoverished area are subjected to the poison daily.
  • Fired By Big Brother

    Lewd e-mail had always been passed around Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Michigan, "but when one worker complained of seeing offensive material on a terminal last May, it set off the largest-known crackdown on computer misuse in the U.S. workplace." The result: 39 workers were labeled with "computer-age scarlet letters. Pilloried in the media, and declared deviants by Dow, they're finding that other companies won't touch them. They have faced the humiliation of explaining to their families what happened, and financial strain has pushed some to bankruptcy. . . they still struggle to comprehend how their lives were upended by something as innocuous as e-mail."
  • Rocky Flats: From Cold War to Hot Property

    Westword examines what has happened to Rocky Flats after the Atomic Energy Commission built a nuclear-weapons plant near the Denver area in the 1950s. The disposal of more than 1,500 kinds of chemicals and radioactive plutonium. Dow Chemical undertook only the slightest precautions in getting rid of the waste. It attempted solar evaporation ponds and mixing the toxic, often radioactive sludge with cement that never hardened. Over the years, materials left unprotected outside in second-hand barrels and other careless containers seeped into the prairies and groundwater. In 1974, Rockwell International took over and continued the pollution. In 1989, the plant was raided by the FBI and Colorado's first ever grand jury convened. Indictments and a $18.5 million fine were levied at Rockwell, the contractor and DOE employees. Today, an ambitious goal of cleaning up the land by 2006 is set but few have faith that the environmental damage sustained at Rocky Flats can be undone.
  • Poisoned By Pesticides

    Employees at a courthouse in Macon, Missouri went to work one day. Within two days virtually all had been to the doctor, most to the emergency room. Doctors believe it was because they had been exposed to a chemical called Dursban. Dursban is the brand name of the chemical chlorpyrophis made by Dow Chemical. Doctors believe it was the exposure to Dursban following a routine indoor bug spraying that made the employees sick. The investigation found that DOW and the EPA knew of problems with Dursban.
  • (Untitled)

    Arkansas Democrat-Gazette examines dioxin contamination of Vertac chemical plant and its incineration of chemical wastes; Hercules and Dow Chemical knew of toxic hazards but kept silent; no health study was conducted at the plant despite health claims by residents; Arkansas River and two others are contaminated, with dioxin found in fish, May - December 1990.
  • (Untitled)

    Wall Street Journal reveals Dow Chemical Co. has tried to maintain a low profile on the problems surrounding Sarabond, a product that strengthens mortar; reveals the product, first used in 1965, apparently corrodes steel, prompting several lawsuits against Dow as buildings and tunnels begin to crumble, March 21, 1989.