Editorial: The right to know
The committee behind the NOU is in many ways expecting that more information shall be available for more people, and this should also to a large extent apply for information concerning foreign production. This we applaud, and it will have impacts on companies that are importing flowers, sports gear, products containing tropical timber, etc.
The problem is that the committee has concluded with dissenting voices upon several important matters, and we fear the consequences if some of the suggested restrictions in the legislation are adopted. One of the suggestions say that only the next to last link is bound to provide information, which soon will lead to a situation where foreign agents will refuse to provide information on environmental impacts, without being liable to Norwegian legislation.
Another problem is that a company is bound only to submit information already available. The proposal does so far not require that relevant information is prepared, if it is not already existing.
The rights to knowledge about environmental matters in the production of goods will therefore be limited. If the proposal is adopted with such limitations, a very good idea has been partly amputated.
Norwatch Newsletter 5/01