Are You Holding " Blood Minerals " In Your Hand?

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by raven818, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Jax, Fl.
    So-called “blood diamonds” or conflict diamonds are the well-publicized face of the decades-long human rights challenge in Africa. But the mining and sale of a lesser-known but more widely used group of natural resources known as “blood minerals” has fueled civil wars in Congo and Uganda and gone largely unheard in the U.S. -- even though you’re probably holding them in the palm of your hand.

    Raw minerals such as copper, titanium, tantalum, niobium -- even gold -- are used in the car and aerospace industries, medical devices and more, as well as the latest smartphones including the rumored iPhone 5 and many Android phones.

    World trade organizations such as The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publish guidelines for companies that deal in such minerals, which are often mined by children and fuel a conflict by armed groups that has persisted for more than 15 years with more than 5 million people killed.

    Congress sought to address the issue through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which included a requirement for companies to disclose conflict minerals. Last year, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) opened a public debate about whether your next phone should include this disclosure -- but Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington is critical of the process.

    “They are afraid of being sued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the World Gold Council,” McDermott told “For 17 years companies have helped fund this horrific war [in DRC and Uganda], and this law requires companies to be honest about how they source. It's just terrible that companies are having their business associations intimidate the SEC."

    McDermott says the problem of reporting conflict mineral use stretches far beyond tech gadgets. He says Honda, Tiffany & Co., Kraft, Boeing, and Caterpillar are the worst offenders. Of the tech companies, he said Microsoft, Motorola, and AMD are better at reporting about conflict minerals.

    While a ruling about the disclosure is imminent, SEC spokesman John Nester told that it could still be a few weeks. “We’re putting this into a practical effect so that companies can comply with it,” Nester said.

    But ahead of the SEC ruling, Sprint has made the first baby steps to come to terms with the controversy. The company has joined the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA). Both organizations help identify the source for minerals and help companies audit the use of conflict minerals.

    Allison Gregg, Sprint spokeswoman for the company’s sustainability and environmental efforts, said it is working to make device manufacturers aware of the issue. One issue she sees is that some companies are waiting for the SEC ruling before acting, which is not helping.

    “We are not sitting in a vacuum,” she told “We have multi-stakeholder groups that we are involved in to track what is going on in the area and we are ready to go when the reporting [is required].”

    The GeSI initiative in particular will help certify “smelters” (which produces metal from ore) in Congo that follow an acceptable process. Gregg says Sprint supports more auditing of these materials.

    One leading vendor, Samsung, has disclosed its process for dealing with conflict minerals. Company officials in Korea told it recently investigated smelters use of such minerals and will publish results in a 2012 Sustainability Report.

    There are ways to make wise decisions now about the gadgets you use, however.

    Raise Hope for Congo has a scorecard for how device makers are addressing conflict mineral audits. Canon, Panasonic, Sharp, and others rate poorly, while HP and Motorola rank high. No company earns the group’s gold star.

    “Some cell providers and manufacturers have been supportive of the intent of these regulations and have been proactive in developing supply chain policies that address conflict minerals ... others have been on the sidelines and are just waiting for the final regulations before acting,” said Chris Meyer, a spokesperson for Everence, a faith-based financial services company that has taken an active interest in the issue of conflict minerals.

    A few U.S. cities have taken dramatic steps to address the problem as well. In Edina, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, officials recently approved a measure that encourages all government purchases to consider conflict-free gadgets first. Lisa Schaefer, a city employee, says the city will look for alternatives from companies like HP first, based on the Raise Hope for Congo scorecard.

    Some argue that U.S. tech companies would spend billions to address the problem, since Congo is a leading mineral exporter. Others say there are legitimate “artisanal” workers there who make a living from mining. The SEC ruling will at least set the record straight. According to Meyer, a ruling will force tech companies to show their hand and fess up to their trade practices.

    Meyer also says a few tech companies are already preparing to release “conflict-free” phones. That means consumers will at least have a choice about which phones to buy using which materials.

    Uh, wanna be guilt free? That's what your gonna be asked to do in the flood of commercials, coming your way. The Blood Diamond thing about destroyed Debeers. The diamonds we proudly display now could have come from anywhere. They leave the country of origin, bounce around a half-dozen more African countries, get an official stamp from each, and by the time they reach the market, there's no way to know where they originated.

    The same folks, or their descendents, already know how to get around the issue of origin. IMO, this will wind up being a non issue by the time everybody has heard about it.
  2. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Jax, Fl.
    Thought...this has been going on for fifteen years, why is it being addressed now? Could it be that some 'land owners' aren't getting their fair share of the market and this is a way to discredit the competition, and shut their doors?

    Like the diamonds, we'll really never know. If the ( if you will ) snitches drop a dime on some company like Microsoft for using blood minerals, and can demonstrate it, what'll happen to the M$ stock?

    Or, could this be the ends to justify the means, to kill off products created by/with our American ingenuity?

    With five million folks already dead from tilling the fields, what a story that would make, worldwide.

    Being a conspiracy nut, maybe we're the ones releasing it, to shut down the chinese market?


    It may sound like a bunch of what-do-I-care stuff. Then again, maybe not.

  3. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    look every bleeding heart liberal with a touch screen phone has aided child slavery and these tin pot wars in africa and with china controlling the buying of these this aint gonna change fast

    the lefties with their iphones and ipads dont like to say it but techno gizmo's have caused more slavery than cotton diamonds and coal put together

    everyone bought justifies to someone that child slavery is worth it
  4. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Jax, Fl.
    I'd like to know how they've managed to keep the deaths of five million folks out of the news. That's a boatload of folks to keep hidden.

    I can here the news anchors question ringing in my ear.

    Pardon me senator, what brand iPhone are you holding right now.

    Uh, it's brand X.

    BRAND X? Do you know that phone was made possible thru the blood of innocents?

    Uh, umm, cough, actually, no. I didn't get the memo.
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    i pulled out of a australian company here when they did a deal in burma to use prisoners in mines , a few months later and we get reports entire villages got arrested for dissent and are put to work in the mines ... there is no need for that , no need to support that BS for cash at all

    but take a look at history

    sierra leone rwanda congo beleize all these war torn places still war torn but huge profits coming from what comes out

    apple was told

    they too fired and discredited their own staff member for documenting the truth

    viryial slavery on the production lines was fought by apple lawyers for 4 years before they forced the suppliers to soften their grips , but folks still live in dorms and pay half their meager wages for the privilege so they can make ipod and iphones and other tech crap so yuppies can buy em and look cool

    how cool is something made by folks who have no say or voice ?
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  6. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Jax, Fl.

    I've had a few minutes since the OP, if anybody but Fox puts out the story, it could get real bizarre, real quick.

    Do people really want to know this? I don't think so. Too big of an issue, because everybody is involved in one way or the other. From the miners to the end buyer.

    Ignorance is bliss.
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