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Chinese groups slam Apple for environmental policies

Ouch. The Associated Press is reporting that three dozen environmental groups have jointly issued a report called "The Other Side of Apple," which accuses the company of ignoring their concerns about health and safety issues at Chinese manufacturing facilities.

These plants manufacture components that are used to build iPads, iPhones and other Apple products. The report cites the use of dangerous chemicals used in the manufacture of touchscreens, and other hazardous materials that can make factory workers sick or endanger their lives.

The report comes just as Apple has opened stores in China, and this week Tim Cook told investors that China was a vast and important market for Apple.

The report noted that Apple was the least responsive of 26 tech companies doing business in China. An Apple spokeswoman in China, Carolyn Wu, has said that the company is "committed to ensuring the highest standards of social responsibility," but had no direct response to this latest report.

The groups have commended Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer and others as the most responsive. Previously, Apple was embroiled in controversy after some employees committed suicide at the South China Foxconn plant where Apple products are built.

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