Industry Hits Back at NGO Report

The World Diamond Council took an unusually combative stance against a recent report by nongovernmental organization Global Witness that called the industry's efforts to self-police conflict diamonds "abysmal." (See "NGO: Industry Flunked Pop Quiz," JCK May 2004, p. 30.) Global Witness sent investigators into more than 30 retailers of various sizes in four cities on the East and West Coasts. It later followed up with a letter asking about the companies' conflict diamond policies, as well as phone calls to the companies. Its survey found: In just four of 33 stores were sales associates well informed about their company's policy on conflict diamonds and the system of warranties. One associate in New York's diamond district even claimed to have "never heard of conflict diamonds." Only five of 30 companies responded to Global Witness's inquiries.

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