Law requires companies to disclose the purchase of conflict materials from the Congo; Apple and Intel vow to be "conflict-free"

Posted by Katie Machol Simon on Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Last summer, President Obama signed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which will require companies to disclose the purchase of materials sourced from war-torn Central Africa.

Electronics companies purchase rare minerals, like tungsten, tin and tantalum, every year from the Congo to use in their products. Buying or importing these items is not illegal, but it is seen as supporting the war, poverty and rape that area has seen for over ten years. Companies who purchase minerals sourced from the Congo and areas in Central Africa will have to declare so on their yearly audits and financial reports. Those companies who do not use materials from said sources will be allowed to label their products as "conflict-free."

Apple and Intel have joined the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition’s (EICC) Conflict-Free Smelter program to support the signing of the act. The EICC requires that companies who sign their code must prove that they do not purchase minerals or any product from the Congo or conflict areas.

This may mean a rise in prices of electronics, but it's a small price to pay if it means less funding for

Watch the video below by the ENOUGHproject, a group working to get a permanent constituency to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.

Information via Inhabitat and Engadget; photo via Inhabitat.

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