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As green as gold?

Phil Moore

25th September, 2008

Environmental group Global Response has challenged Wal-Mart’s claim that their Love, Earth jewelery is ‘committed to protecting the environment’.

The US based organisation, along with other groups, has filed a complaint to the Consumers Union and the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that Wal-Mart’s “green” claims are false.

Paula Palmer, executive director of Global Response, said: ‘It is unconscionable that instead of addressing the planet’s serious environmental problems, Wal-Mart hoodwinks consumers into thinking they can ‘reduce impact on human health and the environment’ by buying gold jewellery.’

Global Response says that Mines in Utah and Nevada and factories in Bolivia and Peru used in the production of Wal-Mart’s Love, Earth gold are not monitored or certified by any credible independent agency.

Dan Randolph, executive director of the Nevada-based Great Basin Resource Watch, said: ‘Wal-Mart has chosen to publicly endorse mining operations which have significant problems. These mines emit unacceptable quantities of mercury into the air, threatening the health of foetuses and young children. They deplete water quantity in an arid region, and they will go on contaminating water with toxic metals for centuries to come.’

Mining’s green credentials are few and far between. A single gold ring leaves behind as much as 20 tons of waste rock and residual particles that continue to pollute ground water long after operations have ended.

See our report from April asking whether gold can ever be green

This article first appeared in the Ecologist September 2008

 

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