Turner and Newall, the world’s largest asbestos factory, authorized spying on journalists and other campaigners to prevent them from exposing the dangers of the substance.
A feature that recently appeared in The Independent chronicled the story of Turner and Newall execs and their plot to prevent campaigners from exposing the dangers of asbestos. Documents recently emerged that reveal the company closely watched individuals they considered “subversive” to their business. Since the documents surfaced, advocates have been calling for a full investigation of what they believe to be espionage against anti-asbestos groups in the United Kingdom.
Advocates from organizations like Friends of the Earth describe these revelations as “shocking” and expressed their disgust that mega-corporations and even government forces attempted to subvert those who peacefully campaigned for the greater public good.
One of the highlights of the documents was Turner and Newall’s involvement with the documentary Alice: A Fight for Life. In it, the documentary chronicles the life of a former asbestos worker dying of pleural mesothelioma. The film unabashedly linked asbestos to cancer.
In 1982 when the documentary was released, the dangers of asbestos were not something the public knew about. Government agencies and commercial organizations knew of the risks decades prior. In response to the film, the document reveal that Turner and Newall launched a smear campaign, claiming that the researchers for the film were communists.You can read more about this unbelievable story here: How the world's biggest asbestos factory tried to stop campaigners exposing the killer dust's dangers