Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dow Chemical Fined $325K for Bribing Officials

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) will pay a $325,000 civil penalty to settle charges of improper payments to Indian government officials who held sway over regulatory approvals for the company's pesticides, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced late on Tuesday.

Dow Chemical, the company that has also poisoned 22 miles of the Tittawabassee River in Michigan with dioxin, also agreed to cease and desist from future violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It settled with the SEC without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

The SEC found that, from 1996 through 2001, Dow Chemical's DE-Nocil Crop Protection Ltd. unit paid an estimated $200,000 in improper payments and gifts to Indian state and federal officials as it sought to register several products slated for marketing in time for India's growing season. The SEC said these payments weren't adequately reflected in Dow Chemical's books and records, and that the company's system of internal controls failed to prevent the payments.

The SEC said Dow Chemical conducted an internal investigation and voluntarily presented the results to the SEC, and also disciplined employees. The company also hired an independent auditor to review its books, and expanded training in how to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the SEC said.

Source: Dow Jones Newswire

In 2004 Dow was voted one of 10 least ethical corporations by Alternet and one of 10 worst corporate polluters in America by the Political Economy Research Institute.

For more information on Dow and dioxin contamination in Michigan, check out Tittawabassee River Watch and also The Truth About Dow.

Photo: flickr - obbino

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