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Target Pulls Chaokoh Coconut Milk From Shelves Over Allegations Of Monkey Labor

New York (CNN Business) -- Target is the latest major retailer to stop selling Chaokoh coconut milk following accusations that its manufacturer uses monkey labor.

In a statement Monday, PETA said the retailer dropped the product because an investigation conducted by the nonprofit organization found that the Thailand-based Theppadungporn Coconut Co. has been "exploiting monkeys and lying about it." Target joins Costco, which dropped the milk in October.

PETA's investigation found that monkeys are forced to pick coconuts and perform for tourists, and that they are "tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies." Multiple investigations by PETA Asia found widespread use of monkey labor throughout Thailand's coconut farming industry. Some companies have changed their practices, PETA said, but others simply hide the monkeys when auditors come to check on the animals.

Activist Protest Stop Coconut Industry Monkey Abuse
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 8, 2020: Activist who are members of the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) using monkey masks while holding an action in front of the Thai Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia on December 08, 2020. Protesters demands an end to the exploitation of monkey labor to be forced to climb trees and collect coconuts in one of Thailand's coconut industries by companies such as (credit: should read Jefta Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Target told CNN Business that it takes "seriously the claims made against Chaokoh, and given they were unable to sufficiently address the concerns raised, we made the decision to remove their product from our assortment in November 2020."

Target's headquarters is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)

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