Published: Thursday 15 November 2001

In a significant move, some Bangladeshi villagers are filing a group action lawsuit in Britain against the British Geological Survey (BGS). The lawsuit alleges that BGS is responsible for what has been described as the worst mass poisoning incident in the world history. The claimants say they drank arsenic-contaminated water from wells dug by BGS during the 1980s and 1990s. They allege that BGS failed to test the water for arsenic. The BGS, however, has denied the allegation. According to it, during 1980s and 1990s, arsenic was not a recognised contaminant of groundwater in Bangladesh or in the regions with similar flood-plain geology and, hence, it is not responsible for the villagers' plight.

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