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Walmart Salmon Has Fishy Ties To North Korean Nuclear Program

by Countable | 10.6.17

What’s the story?

The Associated Press has released an exclusive report revealing that North Korean workers are being used as slave labor in Chinese seafood factories to earn money for the North Korean regime. Fish from those factories has ended up in Walmart and Aldi grocery stores in the U.S., meaning U.S. consumers have inadvertently funded the North Korean government.

Why does it matter?

It is a federal crime for anyone in the U.S. to provide money to the North Korean government. Such activity is in violation of sanctions, aimed at curbing the regime’s ability to expand their nuclear capability.

According to the Associated Press the North Korean government has gotten around those restrictions by having North Korean citizens work at Chinese and Russian factories, then claiming the vast majority of their wages.

A factory in Hunchun, China was found by the Associated Press to be one of dozens that employs North Korean workers, and also supplies stores in the United States, including Walmart and Aldi.

Both Walmart and Aldi stated they were aware of the problem and had taken steps to remove the suspect fish from their supply chain. The quantity that has already been purchased, however, means the fish could be in markets for up to a year. Also, brands that are owned in other countries, like Canada and Thailand, may still be sourcing through the Hunchun factories.

What do you think?

Should Congress and the U.N. take steps to assure that U.S. companies are not selling seafood that is packaged using slave labor and/or providing money to North Korea? Will this information change your buying choices or not?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Maxpixel / Creative Commons )

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(140)
  • Jacob
    10/06/2017
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    It is absolutely unacceptable for Walmart, ALDI, and any company (cough, Nestle, cough) to have slave labor in their supply chain and we need to pass laws to prevent it from happening.

    Like (119)
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  • Ticktock
    10/06/2017
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    How many things are coming from China and N. Korea that would not have been acceptable in polite society if their origins were known? Apple products, clothing, electronics, foods, transplant organs that are available on the black market, unsafe building materials, baby supplies..... The lists go on and on. Slave labor, child labor, forced labor, organs from the incarcerated all these issues are known and have been for years but they’re being done somewhere else by somebody else and we can pretend we don’t know. We still go to Walmart or to some other vender on Sunday after church (we’ve just cleansed our collective souls) to purchase cheap products that cost other people their lives and freedom. Did I know that Salmon were being processed by forced labor from N. Korea in China? No, but I’m not surprised. The one thing that N. Korea can export is their people. It’s up to the rest of us to exploit them.

    Like (53)
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  • Laurel
    10/06/2017
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    When we buy certain items from Ivanka and Donald’s brand we are supporting the Chinese low wage employees. It starts from the top: buy American, hire American and don’t be a hypocrite.

    Like (42)
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  • David
    10/06/2017
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    This is simple, additional sanctions to stop any country from using N Korea’s labor force. Also I am going to boycott any US company until they end this practice. It is the responsibility of our government to look for and provide this information to the American people and the American people’s responsibility to use the power of the personal purse to influence retailers.

    Like (29)
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  • Gavin
    10/07/2017
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    Yes there should be a law that verifies that the supply chain isn’t supporting North Korea

    Like (23)
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  • Mona
    10/06/2017
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    We absolutely should not buy food that’s made from slave labor anywhere and we should not support N Korea in any way!

    Like (16)
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  • Zero
    10/06/2017
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    We should make a law such that any and all products sold in the US (regardless of production location) must be made in accordance with American labor and saftey regulations.

    Like (14)
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  • Azrael
    10/06/2017
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    Start with the president and his family first We cannot tell people and companies not to do something when the president, his family and members of congress flaunt it and their wealth in our faces

    Like (13)
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  • Cindylen
    10/06/2017
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    I find myself in the awkward position of having supported slave labor, a thing that all right minded people find abhorrent. And at the same time, supporting a dictatorial government. Also abhorrent. If corporations would take care of their ethics as much as they care for their money, there would be no need for regulation. As it stands, trump and the republicans do this nation a disservice by cutting regulations to those who give no care to the people of the nation and the world.

    Like (10)
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  • Hank
    10/06/2017
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    Just buy what's made in the USA.

    Like (8)
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  • Bluewitsend
    10/06/2017
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    We should not be supporting The North Korean government in anyway, especially not buying any food they are packaging with slave labor. That is not only wrong but dangerous.

    Like (7)
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  • Patty
    10/06/2017
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    Shop small buy local shop fair trade certified whenever possible

    Like (7)
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  • Pedro
    10/08/2017
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    Penalize and shame any corporate entity with slave/forced labor in their supply chain. Unacceptable.!!!

    Like (6)
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  • Tom
    10/06/2017
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    Mr Trump, put your money where your mouth is , ban the import and sale of salmon from China until there is evidence that this source of income has been cutoff from the Korean regine. If done by China this would earning signal to N korea that their major supporter is unhappy with them and induce them to alter theirbehavior and possibly negotiate a nee status quo. And then collectively we cam worry about cutting off Russian support from the north

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  • Michael
    10/06/2017
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    Whenever I buy packages food I always try to see who provided it. For seafood, it always seems to be the Chinese or Chile. Neither of these countries has very good human rights records (in my opinion). The best way consumers can fight back is to stop buying it.

    Like (6)
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  • June
    10/07/2017
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    It would be nice if we could support our own workers instead of propping up North Korea

    Like (6)
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  • 6640BookMike
    10/07/2017
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    Slave labor products are unacceptable

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  • Jamie
    10/07/2017
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    Guess got to sanction Walmart

    Like (5)
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  • Michael
    10/06/2017
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    It's impossible to cover all the bases on situations like this, knowing about it now makes it imperative that action be taken now! China is culpable and food chain security is paramount.

    Like (4)
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  • Rohan
    10/07/2017
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    Stop American companies from funding North Korea! Try to fix the loopholes in the system please.

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