UHRP finds that 20 percent of red dates in the global supply chain are likely tainted by Uyghur forced labor.
The Xinjiang Construction and Production Corps (XPCC) or “Bingtuan” holds a majority stake in at least 13 red date producing companies, which account for more than 25 percent of red date production in China. The XPCC, a major paramilitary and corporate organization, is responsible for carrying out mass internment, surveillance, and forced labor in East Turkistan.
Between February and August 2022, local and online grocery stores in the Washington, DC metropolitan area stocked over 70 brands of red dates grown or processed in East Turkistan, including at least three with “Bingtuan” on their labels. Other products sourced from the Uyghur homeland, including raisins and walnuts, are also sold in U.S. grocery stores.
Cotton is frequently intercropped with fruit, including red dates. In 2019, red dates accounted for 80% of fruit intercropped with cotton. Because cotton production is well documented as being at high risk of forced labor practices, fruit and fruit products, including red dates, should be considered at the same risk for forced labor as cotton.
Since July 2020, all financial transactions with the XPCC have been prohibited for U.S. persons under Global Magnitsky Sanctions, and since January 2021, imports of XPCC cotton and tomato products to the U.S. have been a priority for enforcement of the U.S. ban on forced-labor imports. However, investigations have revealed that cotton and tomato products from the Region have continued to enter the U.S. market.
As of June 21, 2022, all products from East have been targeted for priority enforcement of the U.S. ban on forced-labor imports, under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is mandated to detain all products sourced from the Uyghur Region on the presumption that they are the products of forced labor, unless the importer can demonstrate that the product supply chain is free of forced labor.
UHRP’s research shows that U.S. food retailers and consumers risk complicity in forced labor and other atrocities, including genocide and crimes against humanity.
uits of Uyghur Forced Labor: Sanctioned Products on American Grocery Store Shelves