On December 3, 1984 a toxic gas release from a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India killed at least 7,000 people. Two decades later, 15,000 additional people have died and 100,000 have health problems stemming from the leak of poison gases. Activists worldwide have called on Dow Chemical, which now owns Union Carbide, to take responsibility for the industrial disaster and make reparations. And for a brief moment, it appeared as if Dow was showing unimaginable leadership in corporate social responsibility, when the BBC reported that Jude Finisterra, who purported to be a Dow spokesman, admitted responsibility for the Bhopal disaster and offered $12 billion in compensation. As it turns out, however, Jude Finisterra was a creation of the Yes Men and the announcement was a hoax. Although the trick was unmasked by the time Wall Street opened, the Motley Fool reports European markets saw Dow share prices drop "as much as 3% on the news." The BBC contacted the Yes Men through their spoof website DowEthics.com, not to be confused with Dow Chemical's official site, Dow.com. And while activists run the websites Bhopal.org and Bhopal.net, Union Carbide sponsors Bhopal.com.
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