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Pom Juice Stops Animal Tests

A PETA protester demonstrates what Pom does did to bunnies.

A PETA protester demonstrates what Pom does did to bunnies.

Purveyer of pomagranite-flavored mixed juices as medical miracle and fashion accessory Pom Wonderful has stopped animal testing. The pressure had been building, and they finally snapped. Months of relatively mild protest and harrasment from AR groups culminated in the “Animal Rights Militia” claiming to have poisoned Pom bottles at grocery stores. It’s [sic] city, but they did sum up their motivations pretty well:

at pom one week old baby mice are deprived of oxygen and then their brains cut open and rabbits have their arteries severed so they get erectile dysfunction so that pom wonderful can make money off the pain and suffering inflicted on animals inside the pom wonderful labs.

The poisonings were later revealed to be a hoax (or at least covered-up to seem like one). The final straw was undoubtedly Whole Foods’s decision to drop Pom if they didn’t stop testing. The lost sales would’ve hurt, and the bad publicity would’ve exploded beyond the demographically minor AR community.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by

    Doodleyboo

    on #

    I am upset about this, only because I have bought their products and have never heard about their animal testing! Mind you, I only started buying their infused teas in December, but the idea that I contributed to their testing really upsets me. Although they say they will not longer test, I did read somewhere else that the company could shift testing to a secondary researcher and not do it themselves. I will not buy POM prodcuts again due to this.

  2. Comment by

    frank language

    on #

    POM victory may be premature

    The following is from Bruce Freidrich of PeTA. (as of the 18th)

    “It’s not surprising the POM would be attempting to do damage control, considering the avalanche of retailers pulling POM from their shelves. But in a private meeting with PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange in Los Angeles on July 10, 2006, POM chief Matt Tupper said that POM could easily declare a no animal test policy for POM by simply shifting the juice animal tests to the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Trust, so PETA will not call off its boycott campaign until it has an assurance from POM that neither POM nor the Resnicks will torment animals in labs. Consumers can find out the status of the boycott at POMHorrible.com.”

    PETA is attempting to confirm that POM has in fact suspended all animal tests of its juices and supplements .

    PETA launched its national boycott of POM and its new website POMHorrible.com in December 2006 and successfully convinced more than 20 retailers to pull POM products from their shelves.

    Also, we have convinced more than 20 retailers to pull POM from their shelves and to write to POM; thus far, NOT ONE has gotten this statement from POM.

    This POM story on the Reuters wire may be great news; it may be total B.S., though, too. We’ll let everyone know what we find out.

  3. Comment by

    frank language

    on #

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Bruce Friedrich
    Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 6:35 PM
    Subject: POM Caught Lying–open letter from PETA to POM. Please crosspost.

    If you sent POM’s press release to lists, please be sure to send this letter to those same lists. Thank you. Find out what you can do to help at http://www.POMHorrible.com.

    January 18, 2007

    Matt Tupper, President and CEO
    POM Wonderful, LLC
    11444 W. Olympic Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90064

    Dear Mr. Tupper:

    We have received a copy of the January 17, 2007, statement issued by
    Stewart and Lynda Resnick to POM retailers claiming that “POM Wonderful
    pomegranate juice has ceased all animal testing and we have no plans to
    do so in the future.” Although some assertions made in this statement
    are troubling, if POM is truly no longer associated with animal tests in
    any way, we will certainly end our campaign. However, let me state our
    concerns:

    First, there is the statement that you made during your meeting with
    Lisa Lange, our senior vice president of communications, on July 10,
    2006, that POM could declare itself cruelty-free while the animal
    testing could simply be placed under the auspices of the Stewart and
    Lynda Resnick Trust and no one would be the wiser. We must question
    whether that is now your plan, as the Web site of the U.S. Department of
    Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) details a commitment
    by POM/Resnick Trust to fund a stressful animal experiment through June
    30, 2007, conducted by the ARS’ Jim Joseph titled, “The Effects of
    Pomegranate Juice on Cognitive and Motor Deficits in Aging,” which
    involves forcing elderly rats to balance on an accelerating spinning rod
    and to find a hidden platform submerged in a difficult water maze in
    order not to drown. The 2006 Annual Report for this experiment states,
    “The agreement between ARS and Pom-Wonderful has recently been approved
    and we will be starting the study within the next two months.” POM’s
    current funding of this experiment directly contradicts the Resnick’s
    assertion from the January 17 memo that POM’s “juice has not been tested
    since last year.” Please address this issue specifically.

    Secondly, we are also concerned that the Resnicks continue to make
    inaccurate assertions in their statement to retailers. They state that
    “preliminary animal data is often required to initiate human studies at
    top universities.” This is false, as you should know. In our letter to
    you of July 20, 2006, PETA’s director of our Regulatory Testing Division
    explained: “[C]ontrary to your earlier assertion, animal tests are not
    necessary to gain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for proposed
    human research protocols. It is the responsibility of IRBs to evaluate
    the risks and benefits of submitted human protocols, and the risk in
    testing a conventional food is extremely minimal. The Department of
    Health and Human Services provides written guidance to IRBs that makes
    it clear that animal testing is not required (www.hhs.gov/ohrp/
    humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm). We have corroborated this fact with
    other sponsors of human nutritional trials, and as you know, many juice
    companies with which PETA has been speaking have never conducted or have
    now agreed to stop funding animal experiments.”

    Thirdly, the Resnicks state that “[m]any companies make claims that are
    unsubstantiated.” It’s not clear how this is relevant to your memo, but
    beyond that, it is disingenuous not to include POM here, given that the
    National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau issued
    a news release on April 12, 2006, recommending that POM discontinue or
    “substantially modify” several of its health claims for lack of
    scientific evidence. NAD also determined that some of POM’s photos and
    headlines accompanying its antioxidant advertising campaign “are, when
    accompanied by language regarding the prevention and/or risk reduction
    of specific diseases, beyond the realm of puffery and hyperbole.”

    Additionally, the Resnicks characterized PETA’s letter-writing and
    peaceful (and legal) street theater protests as “harmful and destructive
    … tactics.” As you know, and as we have reiterated before, PETA has
    engaged you through a face-to-face dinner meeting, phone calls, e-mail,
    and lengthy letters that you ignored-hardly “harmful and destructive”
    tactics. That is how we have conducted ourselves.

    For PETA to end its campaign against POM, we need for you to either sign
    the enclosed statement of assurance or issue a written statement
    pledging that POM, the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Trust, and all
    affiliates and subsidiaries will neither conduct nor fund tests on
    animals for any ingredients or products including POM juices, teas, or
    supplemental POM products or food additives such as POMx or POMo. Once
    this assurance is given to us or placed on your Web site, we will
    contact all retailers that are continuing to boycott POM and our
    supporters to let them know that our campaign against POM is over.

    We look forward to your quick reply. I would be very happy to discuss
    the campaign, what we need, and any concerns that you might have. I can
    be reached at 757-962-8342.

    Sincerely,

    Bruce Friedrich
    Vice President
    International Grassroots Campaigns

    Enclosure: POM Wonderful Statement of Assurance

    cc: Lynda Resnick, Owner, POM Wonderful, LLC

  4. Comment by

    anon

    on #

    POM may have agreed to stop animal experiments for now, but they are entirely unrepentant for what they have done and have worded their statement to retailers in a way that means they can start up experiments at any time in the future.
    See: http://www.energygrid.com/action/2007/01-pom.html

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