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Greenpeace protests against chemical dumps

Environmental group Greenpeace has staged a protest to urge two chemical companies to pay into a special fund for the clean up of waste dumps around the city of Basel.

Activists climbed chimneys of a company headquarters in Basel to unfold a banner which called on Ciba and Syngenta to pay at least SFr600 million ($595 million) to an independent foundation.

Both companies said there were no plans to join the foundation, launched by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, because they put aside money for their own reserve fund.

Greenpeace said the poisonous chemical waste deposited at several sites up to the late 1950s was a threat to the drinking water of the region and was causing cancer.

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