Dirty, Dirty Gold

I watched the 60 Minutes piece on the abusive conditions surrounding artisanal gold mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was a typical TV exposé: show the dangerous conditions at hand-dug excavations along a river; the toxic and primitive extraction of tiny amounts of gold from its natural matrix, particularly mercury pollution; and the exploitative methods of local bosses. Then show that retailers and dealers in neighboring Uganda don't care about the source of the gold, and finish with an interview with Matt Runci of Jewelers of America aimed at showing the ineptitude and inaction of the industry. Matt answered questions carefully and avoided commitments of any kind. My instinct would be to go after the real issues, but that might have been unwise, as investigative reporting looks to create controversy and shape responses to suit a predetermined conclusion.
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