Emiliano Alonso, President of the international asbestos lobby organisation, attacks European asbestos victims groups

Sun, Dec 20, 2020

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Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca

Emiliano Alonso is a Spanish lawyer who operates a lobbying company, Alonso & Associados, with offices in Madrid and Brussels. He has been paid for many years to carry out lobbying activities on behalf of the International Chrysotile Association, formerly called the International Asbestos Association. He is now the President of the International Chrysotile Association. The Association continues to operate out of Quebec, where it was registered as a non-profit organisation in 1997.

On October 28, 2020 and again on November 27, 2020, asbestos victims organisations in Belgium, France, Italy and the UK and RightOnCanada sent letters (English, French) to Mr. Alonso, asking him to:

  • Respect the overwhelming scientific evidence that all forms of asbestos should be banned;
  • Stop promoting the use of asbestos in developing countries;
  • Stop disseminating misinformation that causes harm and loss of life;
  • Immediately resign his position as President of the International Chrysotile Association.

In their letter, the asbestos victims groups put forward the indisputable fact that the world’s expert health organisations, such as the World  Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the International  Commission on Occupational Health, the Union for the International Control of Cancer, the International Social Security  Association, and the World Federation of Public Health Associations, have all repudiated as false the information that Mr. Alonso and the ICA disseminate and have called for an end to the use of any form of asbestos, stating it cannot be safely used.

Mr. Alonso and the ICA, however, continue to disseminate deadly, false information claiming that science has demonstrated that chrysotile asbestos can be safely used and that exposure to high levels of chrysotile asbestos fibres, ten to one hundred times greater than permitted in Europe, causes no harm to the health of people in developing countries. Mr. Alonso and the ICA attack and vilify those who call for a ban on asbestos, saying that they are corrupt and being paid by secret vested interests.

Not a single reputable scientific organisation in the world supports the false information that Mr. Alonso and the ICA disseminate.

International Chrysotile Association publishes attack on European asbestos victims groups

Eight weeks later Mr. Alonso still has not responded to the asbestos victims groups’ letters. Instead, on December 14, 2020, the “ICA team”, presumably including their President, Mr. Alonso, published an Editorial on the ICA website which attacked and vilified the asbestos victims groups. The Editorial states that:

  • they have “dubious motivations”and “opt for calumny and slander and call for the very disappearance of the ICA”
  • the ICA laments the fact that certain lobby groups call for its dissolution and that they “try every trick in the book to delegitimize its leaders”
  • “These deep-pocketed organizations will not hesitate to sully reputations to reach their own objectives”

The motivation of the asbestos victims groups is clear. They want to prevent more people from being exposed to asbestos and dying painful and unnecessary deaths from asbestos-related diseases.

In their letter, the asbestos victims groups put forward indisputable facts – not calumny or slander – and asked Mr. Alonso to demonstrate integrity.

Mr. Alsonso presents himself as being a responsible professional running a consulting company in Spain and Belgium, who respects scientific evidence and ethical standards. His work as President of the ICA to deny scientific evidence in order to sell asbestos in developing countries is in total conflict with this. Mr. Alonso cannot play both roles. He needs to decide whether he will respect scientific evidence or whether he will serve the asbestos industry.

Mr. Alonso needs to address the scientific facts and respond to the challenge that the asbestos victims groups put to him.

His response is awaited.

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