The US government spends over $16 million dollars in candy re-sale contracts with Hershey Co. maker of chocolate bars, kisses, Kit Kats, Mounds, Reeses, Twizzler, and more. (Exact figure from http://influenceexplorer.com Value of 2010 contracts: $16,657,587). Yet Hershey Co. has been publicly recognized since 2001 as buying chocolate made with child slave labor. Hershey even signed an international agreement to eliminate the worst forms of child labor from their cocoa but have not done so. (More info: http://www.raisethebarhershey.org/why-hershey/) Today there are 1.7 million children working the cocoa farms of Ghana and the Ivory Coast - the same places where Hershey sources most of its chocolate (source: http://childlabor-payson.org/). It is illegal for the US government to purchase products produced by forced or indentured child slave labor. (See 1999 the US Department of Labor Executive Order 13126. “Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor”) The US Department of Labor recognizes the Forced or Indentured Child Labor found in cocoa beans from The Ivory Coast and Nigeria. These products are listed in the Executive Order as products that prohibited for the US government to buy. Yet they are buying more than $16 million-a-year of Hershey chocolate made with Forced or Indentured Child Labor slave labor cocoa beans. Upon further investigation it seems that the federal government doesn’t buy cocoa beans, it buys its derivative product, chocolate. Based on lobbying activity reported to the Senate Office of Public Records, Hershey spent over $5.5 million in the first 3 quarters of 2011 alone on lobbying, some of this could have been used to hide this fact (and others) from the general public (Exact figure: $5,595,000 from http://influenceexplorer.com ). Sign this petition to expand the US Department of Labor Executive Order 13126 to prohibit the acquisition of Products AND DERIVATIVE PRODUCTS Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor. We do not want our tax money spent on child slave chocolate.
TAMARA STENN started this petition with a single signature, and now has 144 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.