A South Wales quarry where thousands of tonnes of toxic waste was dumped by contractors, between 1965 and 1972, were allegedly hired by the giant chemical company Monsanto.
Over sixty seven different chemicals have been found at Brofiscin quarry near Groesfaen village, north of Cardiff and Friends of the Earth Cymru is in the process of contacting the Environment Agency to ask if those responsible will be brought to account. It is estimated that the clean up costs will reach 100 million pounds. Friends of the Earth Cymru commented that:
"It's unacceptable that a chemical giant like Monsanto can dump tonnes of toxic chemicals next to a south Wales community and not be forced to clear up its mess."
Meanwhile, GM Crops - another one of Monsantos lucrative sidelines - has come under close scrutiny lately in Cymru/Wales as the date approaches when the EU Environmental Liability directive is implemented. Groups in Cymru/Wales are urging Welsh Assembly Members to call for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) to be made a special case under the Directive. The Groups, including GM Free Cymru and Friends of the Earth Cymru set out their argument in a briefing to Assembly Members. Julian Rosser, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, commented:
"The Government in England has said that English farmers and the environment do not need the full protection available under European law. If followed in Wales this would mean millions of acres of countryside and hundreds of species would not be covered for harm caused by GMOs."
France has announced this week that it will be increasing its production of GM crops over the coming year. The League will endeavour to determine if the French have plans for growing any of these crops in Brittany.
General Secretary, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, has written to the National Assembly in Wales (Environment, Planning and Transport Committee, Chair Alun Ffred Jones AM) to make the League's position clear - see below.
I am writing to request that you and your colleagues support the campaign to strengthen the European law to prevent damage caused by Genetically Modified crops in Wales.
As you will be aware, the new EU Environmental Liability Directive will come into force this April. In is current state the new law could allow Governments to make companies wanting to use GM crops exempt from environmental damage caused by cross contamination.
The Celtic League feel that tighter regulations are needed to ensure that GM producing companies are held responsible if any damage is caused.
We hope that you agree with us in our concern and aim to strengthen the above mentioned law before it comes into force.
Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary"
The Brofiscin quarry issue highlights the casual attitude towards industrial landfill by English companies at locations in Cymru and vindicates the Celtic Leagues opposition to recent plans to commission such landfill sites in both North Wales and Cornwall.
See Celtic News Number 2051 QUARRY FIGHT GOES TO EUROPE November 2006.
J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League