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updated: 11/16/2012 7:56 AM

Ikea regrets use of forced labor in East Germany

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Associated Press

BERLIN -- Swedish furniture giant Ikea says it "deeply regrets" the fact that some of its suppliers used forced prison labor in communist East Germany more than two decades ago.

The company says it never condoned the use of forced labor but an independent report shows it failed to properly vet how its suppliers were manufacturing furniture for the company at the time.

Ikea commissioned auditors Ernst & Young to look into allegations that it benefited from the use of forced labor by East German prisoners, some of whom were political dissidents.

The report released in Berlin on Friday concludes that Ikea managers "were aware of the possibility that political prisoners would be used in the production of Ikea products in the former GDR" but that measures to prevent this were insufficient.

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