Was FFOS wrong at all?

Date: October 19th, 2019 

Dear Editor/Newsroom, 

It appears that aluminium projects being pursued by the Rowley Government are in jeopardy. These projects are at various stages of negotiations, MOUs and contract signing. Sadly, secret governance denies stakeholders any knowledge or participation of the direction we are being steered, or of the resulting human health risks. Four years after this Government took office, it would appear that FFOS warnings were not that wrong after all. Was all the hard work of the community driven “Anti Smelta Movement” in vain? 

In 2014, on the eve of the last elections, FFOS released a statement warning the nation that the Rowley regime, if it succeeded at the elections, and regardless of the known human health risks, had intended to reintroduce Aluminium smelting on the people of La Brea. At that time, the PNM monthly newspaper responded to this statement, stating “Gary Aboud wrong” – where they denied any plan to introduce aluminium smelting (see copy attached). 

Technical advice received by the then Manning government (and smothered from public viewing) had stated that if Alutrint was built in La Brea, ALL residents within a 1 km radius of the aluminium smelter must be tested for cancer twice a year and ALL residents within a 2 km radius must be tested for cancer once every year. FFOS exposed these reports then as now. We were concerned that our “caring” government were pursuing aluminium smelting regardless of real risks and that it would turn our beloved La Brea community into an experimental aluminium guinea pig. 

FFOS continue to respectfully caution our Honourable Government that the insecurities and shortages of natural gas are only one (1) of the threats that such an industry would face. The other threat, which sadly appears to be of less value and consideration to our administrators, is the human cost – the real risk of already escalating cancer which must never be heartlessly considered as “collateral damage”! 

As responsible leaders we must approach industries that have degenerative human health impacts for workers, resident and natural communities with extreme caution. Unless a precautionary approach is applied to human and ecosystem health and where all industrial, agricultural and lifestyle activities are selected with caution and regulated thoroughly, our unending plume of suffering cancer victims will continue to escalate. 

Sincerely, Gary Aboud Corporate Secretary 

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