JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Selling cookies is an annual tradition for many Girl Scouts, but members of a local troop are boycotting sales this year in protest of what is reportedly happening thousands of miles away.
The Girl Scouts from Troop 12026 usually look forward to the cookies sales.
But this year they have added their voices to a growing outcry after investigations reportedly concluded that palm oil used to make the cookies comes mainly from child labor in Indonesia and Malaysia.
"This is not right for them to be doing this to little children who should be in school right now getting an education," 12-year-old Emily said.
"It was kind of sad because we take stuff for granted and we have education but people in other countries don't have education," 11-year-old Samiya said.
Their troop leader brought the controversy to the girls' attention.
"It's a great feeling, I hope they take this with them when they're older and say, 'Hey I was a part of that, I helped do that,'" said troop leader Gina Verdibello.
Recent reports say the Girl Scouts organization has asked the two companies that make its cookies, ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers, to modify their practices to make sure ingredients they use are not produced from child labor.
Eyewitness News reached out to Girl Scouts to get confirmation but did not hear back.
Troop 12026 earns about $1,000 a year from cookie profits to cover membership fees and community service projects.
They hope donations will cover those expenses in the absence of cookie sales.
The girls are also hoping that changes are made so they can bring back their cookie sales again.
"I really love selling cookies but it's for an important cause.. it's really fun selling cookies, but when I read that story, it broke my heart," 12-year-old Mia said.
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