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The Dark Side of Chocolate: What You Need to Know Before Buying Your Kids’ Halloween Candy This Year

“The beatings were a part of my life,” said Aly Diabate, another freed slave. “Anytime they loaded you with bags (of cocoa beans) and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead, they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again.”

The FDA attempted to pass a law back in 2001 that would enforce “slave free” labeling on candy wrappers, but the powerful chocolate companies (namely Hershey, Mars, and Nestle) shut down the legislation with big corporate dollars by “promising” self-regulation. This “promise” was to stop all child slavery involved with their companies by 2005…and America is still waiting. That date has been consistently pushed back, and the goal is now 2020.

To make matters worse, the number of kids working in the chocolate slave trade has only continued to increase. It shot up by a staggering 51 percent from 2009 to 2014 alone.

By contrast, the following is a list of companies who have made an intentional effort to avoid benefitting from the cruelty of child slave labor.

  • Newman’s Own Organics

  • Clif Bar

  • Koppers Chocolate

  • Green and Black’s

  • Cloud Nine

  • L.A. Burdick Chocolates

  • Gardners Candie

  • Denman Island Chocolate

  • Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company

  • Montezuma’s Chocolates

  • Kailua Candy Company

  • The Endangered Species Chocolate Company

  • Rapunzel Pure Organics

Of course, it can’t be done alone, but the American consumer can contribute to making a difference by choosing to buy Halloween candy from some of these more ethically conscious brands.

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Kelsey Straeter
Kelsey Straeter
Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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