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Best Ethical Consumer rating for palm oil policy

In December 2016 Ethical Consumer searched the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) website for information on Unilever's performance. The company was a member and had submitted the latest Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP) for 2015. The figures disclosed volumes of palm products used in the period, and showed that 100% were covered by RSPO certification mechanisms. 11% was certified as Segregated. The company did state that its submission covered its companies' global use of palm oil. It did not disclose any suppliers. The company gave details of several positive initiative it was undertaking in its supply chain, including certifying 40 more factories, validation of the mill points, site verification for independent mills, and a program to help independent smallholders located in Sei Mangkei to achieve RSPO certification. Overall the company received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its palm oil policy.

Unilever Corporate Communications:www.unilever.com (10 March 2016)

Involved in animal testing not required by law

According to the PETA website viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2016, Unilever was listed in a pdf called 'Companies that test on animals' produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and updated 14 June 2016. The companies were on the list because they had not eliminated tests on animals for their entire line of cosmetics and household products.

PETA - Companies that test on animals:Companies that do test (17 April 2015)

Animal testing of food for health benefits

The BUAV released findings in June 2013 of research showing cruel and unnecessary animal tests carried out by some of the world's leading food giants including Unilever. Animal experiments have been carried out in an attempt to identify the ‘health benefits’ of certain foods to feed the growing infatuation with ‘super foods’. The animals subjected to the experiments uncovered included mice, rats, rabbits and pigs. Unilever was named by the BUAV for experiments involving Hoodia gordonii, a spiny African shrub (which is already used as a weight management supplement for the treatment of obesity). Rabbits and mice were subjected to a reproductive toxicity test. Pregnant rabbits and mice were force fed extracts of the plant throughout their pregnancy for 25 days. The day before the animals were due to give birth, they and their unborn foetuses were killed and examined. Unilever was also named in an experiment in which piglets were given an extract of Lipton’s tea to see if it could counter diarrhoea caused by the Ecoli stomach bug. Eight of the month-old animals died, with severe diarrhoea to blame in at least seven of the cases.

BUAV :BUAV condemns cruel animal experiments by major food companies to prove ‘health benefits’ (21 June 2