boycott Procter & Gamble
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Part 2: What P&G say about testing on animals
- P&G say that they only test on animals as a last resort and only when required by law. Doesn’t this mean that they have to test on animals?
- P&G say they have spent over $150 million on developing alternatives (since 1984), doesn’t that show how committed they are to stopping animal testing?
- With regard to Iams, P&G say that they only carry out research on animals that would be equivalent to research involving humans, so how can Iams be doing laboratory experiments on animals?
Procter & Gamble spend lots of money on clever PR to give the impression they care about animals. But their claims do not stand up to close scrutiny.
Firstly, there are many other companies that produce cosmetics, toiletries and household products without animal testing.
Secondly, documents submitted to the US Government by P&G reveal that they have repeated animal tests for a washing powder ingredient, even though the chemical had been found safe in a massive trial on human volunteers and had been in use for several years. These tests were not even a legal requirement.
Thirdly, P&G are pushing for additional animal tests for new, ultra-tiny ‘nanoparticles’ for use in cosmetics and toiletries. These toxic and lethal tests include inserting a needle into the animals’ windpipes, force-feeding huge doses of the material, and rubbing it into raw, damaged skin.
In pursuit of profits, P&G endlessly searches for novel, hi-tech
substances to add to its household products. “New and improved” labels are meant to persuade customers that existing products can’t
do the job properly. But the novel ingredients, including nanoparticles
and powerful enzymes, can also harm our health - by causing allergies
and other toxic effects.
P&G try to give the impression of safety by means of painful tests on animals such as guinea pigs and genetically modified mice. Given the option, most customers prefer to use products with established, safe ingredients, rather than risk their own health and cause hundreds of animals’ deaths.
P&G could stop their animal testing immediately if they decided to use the thousands of existing ingredients that already have a proven safety record from being used by humans. The bottom line is that they put profits ahead of animals – it’s pure greed.
P&G’s own scientific papers show that some of these proposed ‘alternatives’ are just slightly less cruel types of animal test, rather than truly humane, non-animal alternatives.
Even if we accept P&G’s claim at face value (and there’s no evidence to back it up), then this translates to just 0.6% of their total spending on research. Even more startling, the amount spent by P&G on developing alternatives is approximately 1/1000, or 0.1%, of the amount that it spends on advertising. So their claims are not quite so impressive when put in context.
Firstly, P&G are only referring to cats and dogs with this policy, it doesn’t apply to other animals, who they kill in Iams experiments (though again they don’t volunteer this information!)
Secondly, we believe that this statement from P&G is seriously misleading anyway. P&G have admitted (though they don’t state this openly) that they keep cats and dogs for several months and years in caged laboratory environments, performing invasive and painful experiments on them. These aren’t animals who have just got sick and are getting treatments for their condition while being observed for research reasons. No responsible pet guardian would allow their animals to be used in the way P&G do. The use of animals in procedures who have been bred and caged in laboratory facilities for the purposes of experimentation has no acceptable ethical parallel in human studies.