Australian, Canadian and US mining companies that persist in dumping billions of tonnes of toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead into the rivers and oceans of some of the world’s poorest countries are causing irreversible environmental damage as well as driving human poverty. This warning by a coalition of human rights groups and mining watchdogs as mining ministers from the Asia-Pacific gather in Perth this week for a summit.
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Call for an immediate ban on the practice of dumping billions of tonnes of toxic mine waste into rivers and oceans. That’s the clarion message 27 international human rights groups, mining watchdogs, unions and Indigenous people’s organisations voiced in an open letter to the mining sector in today’s The Australian newspaper.
International agency Oxfam welcomed the Bush Administration’s proposal to reform the 2002 Farm Bill as a first step toward unlocking the paralysis in multilateral trade negotiations. However, the organisation cautioned that it is still unclear if the proposal will significantly reduce export dumping or signify a meaningful shift in the American position at the WTO. Importantly, there is no guarantee that the US Congress will adopt the proposal.