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Complainant Name:
Mr Dave Rado

Clauses Noted: 1, 2

Publication: The Mail on Sunday

Complaint:

Mr Dave Rado of Colchester complained that articles published in the newspaper inaccurately claimed that the “green credentials” of the Toyota Prius were undermined by its use of a battery containing nickel. The complainant raised concerns with the claim that the metal was smelted in a factory which had caused environmental damage to the surrounding area – Sudbury in Canada – which was likened to the environment of the moon. The complainant made clear that the environmental damage actually related to the situation prior to 1972 – before modern anti-pollution laws were introduced – which had no relevance to the Prius which was introduced in 1997. Indeed, he said Sudbury was now a centre for eco-tourism and had won a number of conservation awards.

Resolution:

The newspaper agreed to publish a letter from the complainant with the following wording:

Your article about the Inco nickel factory at Sudbury, Canada, wrongly implied that poisonous fumes from the factory had left the area looking like a lunar landscape because so many plants and trees had died. You also sought to blame Toyota because nickel from the factory is used, among countless other purposes, for making the Prius hybrid car batteries. In fact any damage occurred more than thirty years ago, long before the Prius was made. Since then, Inco has reduced sulphur dioxide emissions by more than 90 per cent and has helped to plant more than 11 million trees. The company has won praise from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and environmental groups. Sudbury has won several conservation awards and is a centre for eco-tourism.

The newspaper also agreed to remove the original article from its websites and replace it with the complainant’s letter.

Report: 75



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