FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP
Family Wang, Lee Chih-tseun
and other responsible executives
201 Tung Hwa North Road
Taiwan, R. O. C
Open letter to the owner family Wang, executive Lee Chih-tsuen and other responsible managers of the FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP in Taiwan
Dear members of the Wang family,
dear Mr. Lee,
dear members of the executive committee,
on November 21, 2009, in the context of a public ethecon congress in Berlin, our internationally announced negative prize “Black Planet Award 2009” was officially conferred. In line with an international nomination and selection process, you have been chosen to be internationally pilloried with the “Black Planet Award 2009”.
Our foundation has based its decision on internationally and publicly long-known facts, on information gathered by trade unions and human rights groups worldwide, on openly available documents, on investigations conducted by governments in various countries, and last but not least, on publications by your own company.
In summary, “ethecon -Foundation Ethics & Economics” states its reasons as follows:
The FORMOSA PLASICS GROUP (FPG) has its origins in the period of anti-communism and the Cold War. In 1954, with the support of US-American money, the group was founded in the insular state of Taiwan, which had been separated from the People's Republic of China against international law by the infamous Chiang Kai-shek.
Ever since, FORMOSA PLASICS GROUP advanced to one of the worldwide leading groups of companies with numerous subsidiary enterprises in Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and other countries, among them the U.S.A. The group’s main ranges of production are chemistry, biotechnology, electronics, cosmetics, domestic chemicals, automotive body parts, and pharmaceutical products.
The company’s history is accompanied by a continuing sequence of social and ecological foul play throughout the world. Outstanding examples are:
- While the production of PVC became more and more ostracised internationally due to its inherent dangers, FPG took advantage of this development and systematically increased its PVC production, thereby advancing to one of the world’s leading producers of this extremely poisonous substance. FPG even unethically disregarded the prohibition of PVC production in Taiwan.
- In 1998, FORMOSA PLASICS GROUP was caught red-handed while trying to dump 3.000 tons of toxic waste into the sea close to the Cambodian seaport of Sihanoukville. All around the world, the soil, air, and water around FPG’s production sites are tremendously poisoned, consequently posing a threat to life and limb of people living nearby.
- Time and again, there are also fatalities and severely injured people due to accidents, explosions, and near-catastrophes. For miles around the production sites, windows have already been shattered repeatedly through blast waves after explosions. In Illinois, surrounding municipalities even had to be evacuated completely.
- The company is one of the top ten polluters in Taiwan. About 25 percent of all greenhouse gases produced in Taiwan can be accounted to FPG.
The attitude of the responsible executives of FORMOSA PLASICS GROUP towards law and order, ecology and peace, social and human rights, as well as towards production security and environment protection are revealed by an example from Delaware in the US. Since the authorities there were unable to deliver legal restraints in person, they had to drop them on the factory premises from a helicopter instead. Nor has the endless list of fines up to one million dollars resulted in a change of attitude. The responsible executives have cared just as little about the massive protests in various countries around the world. In Taiwan, there were even repeated mass demonstrations against FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP.
The company is damaging the environment to such an extent that even the US-American trade association of the chemistry industry, the American Chemical Society, denies FPG its cooperation.
The members of the Wang family, the president of FORMOSA PLASTIC GROUP Lee Chih-tsuen, and the executive board of the FPG, are responsible for all of these extra-ordinary achievements of criminal ethics. They are to blame for the ruination of human health and environment on a large-scale, yet even for the death of numerous people. The FPG not only poses a threat to peace and human rights, but also to democracy, ecology and human kind in general, as it acts solely for personal profits and advantages. For this, it spurns morals and ethics, and accordingly accepts the decline of our planet to a “Black Planet”.
For your extraordinary accomplishment in destructive ethics you are internationally pilloried with the “Black Planet Award 2009” by “ethecon - Foundation ethics & economics”. You are a threat not only to peace and human rights, but also to democracy and humankind in general. You, as the responsible owners and managers, appallingly ruin our blue planet due to sheer greed of gain and an ideologically alarming, dangerous blindness.
In a world that is increasingly arranged around profit as the sole criteria for decisions and developments, you as the powerful few in the world stand in opposition to humankind and the environment, and you dictate their living conditions. Being egomaniacs and acting irrespective of law and order, you engage in excessive greed of personal gain. You spurn moral and ethics and you are willing to put up with the decline of our planet to a “black planet”. You display what is generally referred to as ruthlessness and selfishness. You are the ones who disregard and violate the sensitive plantlet “ethics”.
Moreover and not to be unmentioned, the “Black Planet Award 2009” conferred to you, the persons in charge of FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP, is to be seen in connection to the “Blue Planet Award 2009” bestowed on the bearer of the alternative Nobel prize Uri Avnery from Israel. In contrast to you, who are damaging and ruining our blue planet in an irresponsible manner, Mister Avnery outstandingly advocates the preservation and rescue of our blue planet.
We request you to learn a lesson for your personal commitment from people like Uri Avnery. Terminate war, exploitation, and ruination of humankind and the environment by FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP.
Safeguard social justice and human rights within your company and its surroundings. Preserve ecology and peace. Instead of using your money for further profit hunt, employ it in ethic investments and solidarity projects demanded by the overwhelming majority of the world population.
This is the official plea connected to the “Black Planet Award 2009” by “ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economics” to you, the owners and responsible managers of FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP.
Axel Köhler-Schnura Elke von der Beeck
Chairman of the Board Chairwoman of the Trustees