Ozone layer 'sacrificed' to lift re-election prospects
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
23 November 2003
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President George Bush has brought the international treaty aimed at repairing the Earth's vital ozone layer close to breakdown,
risking millions of cancers, to benefit strawberry and tomato growers in the electorally critical state of Florida, The Independent
on Sunday can reveal.
His administration is insisting on a sharp increase in spraying of the most dangerous ozone-destroying chemical still in
use, the pesticide methyl bromide, even though it is due to be phased out under the Montreal Protocol in little more than
a year. And it has threatened that the United States could withdraw from the treaty's provisions altogether if its demand
is not met.
Talks on the unprecedented demand broke down without agreement at the conference in Nairobi this month as US delegates
refused to consider any compromise. They even rejected a European Union proposal that would have allowed farmers to use the
same amount of the pesticide as at present, even though this, itself, would violate the spirit of the protocol. ...
© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd