The world’s most popular food and household companies are selling food, cosmetics and other everyday staples containing palm oil tainted by shocking human rights abuses in Indonesia, with children as young as eight working in hazardous conditions, said Amnesty International in a new report published Nov. 30.
The report, “The great palm oil scandal: Labour abuses behind big brand names,” investigates palm oil plantations in Indonesia run by Singapore-based agri-business Wilmar, tracing palm oil to nine global firms: AFAMSA, ADM, Colgate-Palmolive, Elevance, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever, said AI in a statement.
“Companies are turning a blind eye to exploitation of workers in their supply chain,” said Meghna Abraham, a senior investigator at Amnesty.
“These findings will shock any consumer who thinks they are making ethical choices in the supermarket when they buy products that claim to use sustainable palm oil,” Abraham said.
“There is nothing sustainable about palm oil that is produced using child labor and forced labor,” she said.
“The abuses discovered within Wilmar’s palm oil operations are not isolated incidents but are systemic and a predictable result of the way Wilmar does business.”
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