Walmart Is Finally Pulling This Product From Shelves After Major Backlash
One organization has been protesting the sale of this item for years now.
While millions of Americans do their shopping at Walmart every single day, the big-box retailer still finds itself battling a fairly steady onslaught of criticism—including over the products it sells. Last month, the company was blasted over social media with allegations about Parent's Choice baby wipes—sold under Walmart's own baby brand—causing skin irritation and strange colors to show up on people's skin. Just a few weeks later, the retailer found itself under fire again for introducing a Juneteeth flavor of its Great Value-branded ice cream, with some on social media accusing Walmart of lifting the idea from a Black-owned ice cream company.
Now, ongoing backlash over a different item in Walmart's inventory has prompted the retailer to pull the product from shelves for good. Read on to find out what hotly debated purchase is no longer being sold.
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Walmart has pulled multiple products from its shelves in the past year.
Walmart shoppers have probably experienced finding certain items missing from the retailer's shelves. Whether because of a recall or pushback, the big-box retailer often pulls products. In early April, Walmart was forced to stop selling some of its footwear. A California federal court temporarily banned the retailer from selling over 20 pairs of shoes that appeared to be knockoffs of popular shoes from Vans amid a lawsuit from the shoe brand against Walmart.
Around the same time, Walmart also chose to stop selling fake service dogs vests and other paraphernalia. This decision was made voluntarily after the company received complaints from several non-profit organizations, and an online petition demanded Walmart remove these items.
The retailer is now stopping the sale of another product.
Walmart just confirmed that it has discontinued the sale of Chaokoh coconut milk both in stores and online, Axios reported on June 7. According to the news outlet, the retailer has stopped stocking products from the Thai supplier following claims that Chaokoh uses monkeys for forced labor.
One organization has been protesting Chaokoh coconut milk for years.
Walmart's decision comes after years of backlash from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The animal rights organization said that Walmart has received more than 86,000 emails from PETA supports calling for the removal of Chaokoh coconut milk from its inventory.
In 2019, investigators from PETA's branch in Asia visited eight different farms where they allege moneys are being forced to pick coconuts. According to the organization, one of these farms is being run by the Thail coconut milk producer Chaokoh. A separate investigation by PETA Asia in 2020 reportedly found that monkeys were still being used at these farms, despite claims to the contrary from the Thai coconut industry, which includes Chaokoh, the Thai Food Processors Association, and Thailand's ambassador to the U.S.
"The coconut trade uses social monkeys as chained-up coconut-picking machines, depriving them of any opportunity to eat, play, or spend time with their families," Tracy Reiman, the executive Vice President for PETA, said in a June 7 statement. "With one PETA exposé after another confirming cruelty on coconut farms, retailers are dropping Chaokoh left and right."
Several other retailers pulled this product from stores before Walmart.
Walmart was one of the last holdouts in the fight against Chaokoh coconut milk. According to PETA, the retailer is now just one of the more than 45,000 stores that have cut ties with coconut milk brands that allegedly use coconuts picked by forced monkey labor. The other companies who have stopped selling these products include major chains like Albertsons, Publix, Kroger, Wegmans, Target, Food Lion, and Stop & Shop.
But the animal rights organizations said its work is not finished just yet. According to PETA, there are retailers who are still doing business with Chaokoh. Currently, this includes grocery chains Woodman's Market, Tony's Fresh Market, and 99 Ranch Market.
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