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Conflict Minerals in Your iPhone?

Last week Congress passed legislation requiring U.S. electronics companies to disclose if their supply chains include Congolese conflict minerals. A conscientious consumer took Apple to task on the mineral sourcing of its wildly popular iPhone, asking CEO Steve Jobs in an email, "Are you currently making any effort to source conflict-free minerals? In particular, I’m concerned that Apple is getting tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold from Eastern Congo through its suppliers." An hour later, Jobs responded: "Yes. We require all of our suppliers to certify in writing that they use conflict few [sic] materials. But honestly there is no way for them to be sure. Until someone invents a way to chemically trace minerals from the source mine, it’s a very difficult problem."