Proctor and Gamble is on the list for its continued use of animal testing for cosmetics, household products and pet food which campaigners say is “cruel and unnecessary”.
PETA are running the Iams Cruelty Campaign against the P&G pet food brand Iams. The campaign was launched in 2003 after a PETA investigator worked undercover at Sinclair Research Center, a laboratory hired by Iams, and found a number of serious counts of animal abuse. He reported that: “Dogs had gone crazy because they were confined to barren steel cages and cement cells, dogs were left piled on a filthy paint-chipped floor after chunks of muscle had been hacked from their thighs, dogs were surgically debarked, and horribly sick dogs and cats were neglected and left in cages to suffer without any veterinary care.”
Based on PETA’s evidence the US Department of Agriculture concluded over 40 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act had occurred and the lab was fined $33,000. Following these revelations Iams severed its ties with Sinclair Research Center, ended all invasive and terminal experiments on dogs and cats and instead started to conduct some ‘humane’ in-home tests.
However according to PETA Iams still keeps up to 700 dogs and cats in its Dayton, Ohio laboratory for non-invasive nutritional studies and they refuse to allow a PETA representative to see inside the facility. Iams has also refused to end invasive experiments on species other than dogs and cats. PETA say that the boycott will continue until Iams stops conducting experiments on animals, and instead uses laboratory analysis of formulas for nutritional composition and in-home studies using dogs and cats who had been volunteered by their human companions.
96 animal shelters, 34 veterinary clinics, and 36 retail stores across the United States, Canada, and Australia have joined PETA’s boycott of Iams products.
Past boycott calls
Until 2013 Uncaged ran the Hurtful Essences website which targeted the P&G brand Herbal Essences. The site outlines the gruesome tests performed by scientists from Procter & Gamble on animals to ensure the safety of one key ingredient: butylparaben.
According to Uncaged, every day for two weeks, different doses of the chemical were force fed to pregnant rats using a tube, causing damage to the throat and internal organs. Some of the animals suffered poisoning after being given massive doses that were hundreds of times higher than could possibly be consumed by humans. Just before giving birth, the pregnant animals were killed in a carbon dioxide gas chamber. The offspring that survived this where then dismembered to test for birth defects.
Uncaged say that in this case evidence already existed that shows that the chemical is generally safe and that Procter & Gamble continue to perform similar experiments for other products.
Earlier this year Uncaged campaigned for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to pull out of London 2012 sponsorship talks with Procter & Gamble.
BUAV's Autumn 1995 Campaign Report carried an exposé of the US giant Procter & Gamble who had recently released details of their animal experiments in the scientific press. Details of experiments included the following:
Sunscreen ingredients, considered safe for humans since at least 1978 were force-fed to rats using stomach tubes, tested on pregnant rabbits in reproductive studies and administered in massive doses to New Zealand White rabbits in skin toxicity tests.
Musk Xylene, a synthetic musk fragrance used in various household products was tested on mice which were dosed by oral gavage for 7 days. They were then killed and their livers examined for signs of tumors. Although tumors were found, the results were said to be "of little relevance to humans" due to species difference.
Researchers from P&G have also carried out LD50 tests on rats, using household bleach, fabric softener, washing-machine liquid detergent and washing-up liquid.
BUAV were encouraging people to boycott Procter and Gamble products.
In 2007 BUAV were still calling for a boycott as animal tests were only required for new ingredients which have no known safety record but there are thousands of ingredients for which safety data already exists, thereby eradicating the need for further animal testing. The boycott call ceased in 2009 as the BUAV started to campaign around positive buying.
In Defense of Animals
According to the Fall 1997 Boycott Action News section of Co-op America Quarterly, the boycott of Procter & Gamble called by the US group In Defense of Animals was ongoing, as at 15th May 1997. The boycott organisers alleged that Procter & Gamble continued to conduct animal testing.
North West Animal Rights Network
A boycott of Iams Pet Foods had been called in January 1993 by the NorthWest Animal Rights Network (USA), for sponsoring the annual Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska, during which 16-30 dogs die each year.