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A Toxics-Free Future

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A new film starring Johnny Depp, "Minamata", directed by Andrew Levitas, tells the story of the legendary photo-journalist Eugene Smith and his wife Aileen Mioko Smith whose LIFE Magazine photos and book Minamata brought global attention to the devastating impacts of mercury pollution and exposed the corporate malfeasance of the Chisso Corporation that knowingly poured mercury-contaminated wastewater into Minamata Bay for decades. The film is an important opportunity to hold polluters accountable and to move global policy to more effectively curb mercury pollution.

In September, IPEN Participating Organization Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its foundation. Representatives of the Ministries of the Republic of Armenia, international organizations in Armenia, NGOs and foreign guests attended the event, which was held at the Aram Khachaturian House-Museum.

Investigative news reporters at Korean media outlet, Hankyoreh, visited nine cities in India, Indonesia, and Vietnam and surveyed more than 120 workers at mobile phone factories over a 70-day period to develop an investigative series they call, “Global Samsung: A report on unsustainable labor practices.” The series asks questions about the life and work of company workers in Asian countries that host its major bases of production. The series assesses Samsung Electronics’ sustainability as a top-tier global company and describes its results as “unpleasant truths.”

Photo by Pablo Piovano

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We, peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples and traditional communities, scholars and professionals from various fields of knowledge, together with social movements and organizations, trade unions and urban collectives from Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Paraguay, Colombia, Bolivia and Switzerland, gathering at the 1st International Seminar and 3rd National Seminar on Pesticides, Socio-Environmental Impacts and Human Rights, held from 10 to 13 December in the city of Goiás, Brazil, express the following considerations about the current dominant agro-food system in Latin America and the world:

The impacts of the agro-industial model and the socio-environmental realities of our countries show common threats that require urgent response. Therefore, we consider it necessary to create and strengthen ties of resistance and solidarity for articulated action.

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