The Garfield Foundation conducted an assessment of its Mercury Source Reduction (MSR) program, including MPP activities, in order to assess the impact of GF’s MSR work in the international arena. The report proclaims success: “Scarcely five years later, there is virtually no important aspect of global mercury policy that has not been shaped or influenced by key NGOs… these NGOs have achieved results even beyond their own expectations.”
The Dominican Sisters of Hope, supported by Consumers for Dental Choice and the Mercury Policy Project, presented a resolution calling on the Danaher (DHR: NYSE) corporation to transition out of manufacturing mercury fillings at the company’s annual shareholder meeting at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, May 5 (see press release). Danaher owns Kerr, the largest manufacturer of mercury amalgam. “Mercury is highly toxic, can cause permanent harm to a fetus, to a child’s developing brain or an adult’s kidneys,” said Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u., a consultant in corporate responsibility who will be representing the Dominican Sisters of Hope, which owns a block of Danaher shares. “The underserved are at great risk because of the continued use of mercury amalgam. We think it is wrong to put them at such risk when there are suitable alternatives available.”
The first meeting of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Advisory Group (PAG) was held March 31-April 2nd in Geneva, Switzerland. At this meeting Michael Bender, director of MPP and representing ZMWG, was appointed interim chair of a new proposed Partnership related to surplus mercury and supply issues. The PAG recognizes that mercury storage is closely linked to supply issues, and is therefore actively seeking a government representative to take the lead for the storage-supply partnership by October 2009. In the interim, ZMWG will update the PAG business plan, encourage progress on projects, and expand membership, while working collaboratively with UNEP to identify a government lead or co-lead for the Partnership. ZMWG’s letter further outlines the next steps forward for the Storage-Supply Partnership, with which UNEP concurs.