Costco is the latest retailer to stop selling coconut milk allegedly made with forced monkey labor in Thailand, according to the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA said that the big box store agreed to stop selling certain brands of milk from coconuts it alleges was picked by monkeys that were chained, abused and exploited.
PETA made the initial allegation earlier this year. Since then, retailers including Walgreens, Food Lion and Stop & Shop ceased stocking implicated brands of coconut milk, including Chaokoh, according to USA Today.
Costco hasn’t officially announced its decision, and a spokesperson told HuffPost the company was unable to comment.
PETA provided USA Today with a letter sent by Costco Vice President Ken Kimble to the group’s president, Ingrid Newkirk, the newspaper reported.
“We have ceased purchasing from our supplier/owner of the brand Chaokoh,” Kimble reportedly wrote. “We will continue to monitor the implementation of the harvest policies and once satisfied will resume purchasing.”
Aphisak Theppadungporn, managing director of Thai coconut milk producer Theppadungporn Coconut Co. Ltd., in July denied the allegations of forced monkey labor to Reuters. He reportedly said the allegations caused sales to drop as much as 30% from last year.
The company has been auditing plantations since January and has yet to find one that used monkeys, Theppadungporn told Reuters.
PETA’s original video reporting the alleged abuse appears below. The video contains some graphic imagery.
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter