issue 116

Boycott News from Issue 116 Jan/Feb 2009



Pressure grows on Shell

Shell, on the Ethical Consumer boycott list for their exploitation of the peoples of the Ogoni region in Nigeria, is coming under increasing pressure throughout the world.

In Rossport, Ireland, the company has been forced to delay work on an offshore pipeline. The Solitaire, a ship used to lay the pipe, was damaged shortly after it arrived in County Mayo and so work was suspended. Last month eight protesters stood trial on charges related to their continued resistance to the project. They were sent before the courts on a number of charges ranging from trespass to criminal damage. 

All the defendants have denied the charges. The Irish government has now set up an independent commission to investigate the situation after a government minister admitted that “undoubted mistakes” had been made.

For more info and to find out how you can help, visit the Shell to Sea campaign website or call Maura Harrington 087 9591474.

In New York, a trial date of February 9th 2009 has been set for a human rights and racketeering case against Shell and the head of its Nigerian operation, Brian Anderson.

“We are looking forward to finally bringing Shell into court, where we will prove their role in the torture and murder of our clients and their pattern of human rights abuses,” said Jennie Green, an attorney with US civil rights group the Centre for Constitutional Rights. “It’s time for our clients and their families to see justice.”

The corporation and this key official are charged with complicity in the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other leaders involved in the non-violent opposition to Shell’s human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

For more information and to see how you can help, contact the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People tel. 020 8563 8614.



Boycott of Cotton Traders — Quick Success

Just days after The Burma Campaign UK launched a boycott of Cotton Traders, the retailer agreed to stop sourcing products from Burma. The campaigners had implemented the boycott on 15th October and just two days later the company agreed to drop its Burmese suppliers.

The Burma Campaign UK approached Cotton Traders after campaigners established that at least two items sold by Cotton Traders had ‘Made in Myanmar’ labels. The country was renamed Myanmar by the military dictatorship when it seized power in 1989.

On hearing the news a spokesperson for the campaigners said: “Cotton Traders have made the right decision, however they never should have been there in the first place.”

Clothing exports are an important source of income for Burma’s military dictatorship. The USA has already banned imports of clothing from Burma and more than 130 major high street clothing retailers have policies not to source from the country. In fact even the Burmese trade unions, that are currently banned in the country, have called on companies not to buy clothing produced in Burma.

“Companies sourcing clothes from Burma are helping to fund a dictatorship that uses rape, torture and murder to oppress its own people,” said Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK.

For more information contact Burma Campaign UK tel. 020 7324 4714.  



Botox – no smiling matter

Naturewatch has launched a Boycott Botox campaign to highlight the fact that the cosmetic treatment is often tested on animals.

Every new batch of Botox used in cosmetic procedures is tested on 100 mice using the ‘LD50’ toxic potency test despite a UK and EU ban on the testing of cosmetic products on animals. Botulinum (a toxin inherent in all Botox) is injected into the abdomens of 100 mice. To determine the amount of toxin that exists within each batch of Botox the time it takes to kill half of the mice is recorded; this can take up to 3-4 days.

Over the past few years, the use of Botox for cosmetic reasons has grown in popularity. It is estimated over 100,000 procedures are carried out in the UK every year. From TV programmes like ‘10 Years Younger’ to glossy magazines, Botox is being promoted as a quick-fix face-lift. But campaigners say this quick fix carries a very heavy price tag.

Naturewatch is urging people to spread the word by writing to local papers pointing out the animal suffering that botox incurs.

And for the net savvy you can join the Facebook Boycott Botox group or for more information tel. 01242 252871.



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