Target Drops Coconut Milk Brand After Allegations of Forced Monkey Labor

Target has pulled Chaokoh coconut milk from its shelves after details emerged that the production of the drink has been linked to the mistreatment of monkeys.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced Monday that the retail giant “is joining thousands of stores that refuse to profit from chained monkeys’ misery.” PETA Executive VP Tracy Reiman added the organization has confirmed that “Thai coconut producers are exploiting monkeys and lying about it…”

PETA began investigating monkey exploitation in Thailand two years ago. Their findings were released in a news release detailing how chained primates are forced to pick coconuts all day. The monkeys were also found to be “tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies.”

Since the investigations, the coconut industry has said they’ve changed the way they handle production, but additional probes suggest it’s still happening.

PETA says “Asia’s second investigation found producers still using monkey labor and industry insiders discussing how farms conceal this practice by simply hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time.”

A Target spokesperson wrote in a statement “We believe in the humane treatment of animals and expect those who do business with us to do the same.”

Over 26,000 stores have agreed to stop selling Chaokoh since PETA has been lobbying major grocery chains.

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