Subject: File No. DF Title XV - Specialized Disclosures
From: Erin Cook

November 30, 2010

Regarding DF Title XV Specialized Disclosures:

The recent passage of the Conflict Minerals Act is an important first step in ensuring that U.S. consumers won't take part in fueling the deadliest conflict on earth. By making the supply chains of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold more transparent, American consumers will be able choose to support companies that take steps to ensure their products are conflict-free, and also free of slavery and other extreme human rights abuses.

These abuses need to be tracked and these companies absolutely need to be held responsible for monitoring where their materials are coming from and under what conditions they are being made. For anyone to receive profit and gain from others' pain, misery, and suffering is completely unacceptable, and turning a blind eye to it all is even more atrocious. Unfortunately most of our, and those of other developed countries, economy is based off of that very thing.

I ask that in approaching this 'subject', that you exercise compassion and real justice. If the things that are happening to children for profit gain in the countries where this mining is happening, were happening to your own children and your own family, I can guarantee you would (or should) give a damn. You would do anything it took to stop this from happening, immediately. I ask that you remember these aren't empty faces, or dusty statistics. These are real faces, real people, as real as the ones you see over the dinner table at night. You are bound to them and bound to their fate-as we all are- as citizens of a country which we benefit from, which we consume from- we are bound inextricably so long as companies here support actions and workers elsewhere, and gain profit from them.

I think that not only should the information be available to consumers via the internet, and other sources, but that if companies are still receiving minerals that help support conflict, they should have to post some sort of warning on their product-every single one of them, about how it is being mined and about where it came from. How selfish are we if we can put health warnings on products such as cigarettes, tobacco, medicines, alcohol, and other products- health warnings to ourselves-made to benefit ourselves, and put no such blatant warning on products we may buy that are directly affecting another persons life? Why do we not seem to care as much if other people are dying and suffering in direct correlation with what we are buying, so long as it's not us???

Please help us all to learn to act more responsibly and act more out of the same sort of love we were shown in Jesus Christ, Help us love others more than we love ourselves, and look to others' good more than we look to our own. You won't change any one's heart by passing this law, but you just might give them the opportunity to make the connection and have more of a choice and intentionality within that choice- to benefit others instead of just ourselves.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, Please use your hearts and minds when making the decision in passing this law.
Erin Cook