Q:

How can you learn which brands of chocolate contain palm oil or use child labor?

A:

Quick Answer

The website USUncut.com publishes a list of chocolate brands that are produced in part through child labor, as well as a list of brands that do not use child labor. A list of chocolate brands that do not contain palm oil is available at Orangutans.com.au.

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Full Answer

The use of palm oil in common products like chocolate, processed foods, peanut butter and margarine leads to deforestation in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia where orangutans live. Rain forests are clear cut and burned to plant oil palms, leaving the primates without homes. In response, many consumers choose to buy chocolate and other products that are produced without the use of palm oil.

Child labor is also a concern in Western Africa and Central America, where the majority of cocoa beans are grown. While a fair trade certification or Rainforest Alliance label on the product is a helpful guide, FoodIsPower.org claims that so many cocoa farms employ children that it is nearly impossible to know if the beans a brand uses are produced by child labor. However, it does maintain a list of recommended brands that are believed to be ethically producing chocolate without the use of child labor, slavery or animal exploitation.

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