The US is one of the world’s biggest importers of cacao in the world. Last year alone, $600m of cacao entered the country. Last month, the Washington Post released a report that outlined the use of child labor in the production of cacao that is imported to the U.S. by the largest chocolate companies including, Hersey, Mars and Nestle. In 2005, these companies had originally agreed to eradicate child labor from their supply chains in West Africa.

Recently, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Sherrod Brown sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asking Customs and Border Patrol “to block cocoa imports made with forced labor and, where appropriate, pressure criminal investigations.” Additionally, the senators wrote, “we urge you to take all necessary action to ensure the US is not complicit in indentured child labor in the cocoa sector.”

In 2015, the labor department reported that more than 2 million children worked in dangerous conditions in regions growing cacao. In June, the Post asked the biggest producers of chocolate in the US (Hershey, Mars and Nestlé) if they could guarantee that their chocolate was child-labor free. The producers decline to make any claims regarding child-labor free cacao.

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