The Olympics is supposed to be all about fellowship and camaraderie, but the London Olympics Committee might have cozied up to the wrong crowd. Dow Chemicals is set to sponsor the wrap that will cover the Olympic Stadium, and as a result of the company's involvement, the Indian Olympic Association could boycott the Games altogether.
At issue is Dow Chemical's responsibility for the 1984 Bhopal gas leak, one of the worst environmental disasters in history, in which gas leaked from a pesticide plant, killing thousands of people and exposing hundreds of thousands more. Dow Chemical later bought the company responsible for the leak, and the Indian government is still working to extract compensation of around $1.7 billion for victims.
Dow Chemical says that by the time it acquired the company responsible for the leak, the issue was ancient history and is therefore not Dow’s fault at all. (Apparently Dow thinks it only bought the company’s assets, not its debts.) But the Indian government still sees Dow as the bad guy here, and considers it to be on the hook for damage to thousands of human lives. Watching the company spend almost $11 million just to buy some Olympic goodwill has to sting.