SAN FRANCISCO -- Costco is reportedly removing coconut milk from its shelves after Thai suppliers were accused of using monkeys to pick coconuts by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PETA announced the decision on its website saying, "Victory! Costco, one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S., has cut ties with Chaokoh coconut milk after discussions with PETA and hearing from thousands of concerned shoppers like you."
Theppadungporn Coconut Co., Ltd, the manufacturer and distributor of Chaokoh coconut milk, said it ensures zero monkey labor in its coconut production.
But PETA says it stands by its allegations.
"Many kind people choose coconut milk instead of cow's milk because they don't want to support cruelty to animals. But a disturbing PETA Asia investigation reveals that terrified young monkeys in Thailand are kept chained, abusively trained, and forced to climb trees to pick coconuts that are used to make coconut milk, meat, flour, oil, and other products," said PETA on its website.
Specifically, PETA said it visited eight farms "where monkeys are forced to pick coconuts-including those for one of Thailand's major coconut milk producers, Chaokoh-as well as several monkey-training facilities and a coconut-picking competition. At each one, they documented that these sensitive animals were abused and exploited."
We have reached out to Costco for a request for comment.