ethecon / Annual Awardshows / Foundation meeting 2009 / Greeting Robin Winkler

Greeting Robin Winkler

Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan is grateful to Ethecon for pillorying of the Formosa Plastics Corporation with this year’s Black Planet Award. A member of the Formosa Plastics Group, responsible for nearly 30% of Taiwan’s total carbon emissions, Formosa Plastics has managed to fool governments and large parts of the population around the world into allowing it to operate in a manner that poisons people and the rest of the environment wherever Formosa Plastics and its affiliates go.

Perhaps the Black Planet Award to Formosa Plastics will help bring attention to Taiwan’s shame, to the company that more than any other represents the sacrifice of fishers, farmers livelihoods through its destruction and pollution of sea coasts and farmland. Perhaps this will expose how its promises of jobs and prosperity to one of the poorest areas in Taiwan have amounted to nil, or rather have resulted in the area becoming a forgotten wasteland where people are forced to breathe toxins and where the gangsters and politicians elected with support from Formosa Plastics are indistinguishable. High government officials admit that “all the gangsters in Yunlin (location of Formosa Plastics’ largest facility in Taiwan) are raised and nutured by Formosa”.
Wild at Heart’s director Robin Winkler was a commissioner with Taiwan EPA’s Environmental Impact Assessment Commission for two years during which he joined other commissioners in attempting to hold Formosa Plastics to its promises, commitments and legal obligations. During this time the degree of Formosa Plastics’ influence on government, academia and enforcement officials was startlingly clear. The commission was unable to obtain complete, accurate or timely information on Formosa Plastics’ activities. After Robin left the commission he was beat up in the Taiwan EPA by a locally elected gangster while the manager of Formosa Plastics looked on.

In the summer of 2009 a health study was made public concerning the populations in areas adjacent to Formosa Plastics’ largest project in Taiwan the 6th Naphtha Plant but the Taiwan EPA has just sat on the report.

We hope this award will raise international awareness about this global gangster and pressure will be put on the Taiwan government to bring them to account.