Thursday, January 11, 2007

Restaurant in California Pulls POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice From Menu Due To POM"S Continued Use of Cruel and Unnecessary Animal Testing

Here’s a quick summary of what kind of animal testing POM Wonderful has engaged in. As you’ll see, these tests are beyond cruel and totally unnecessary:

“POM has funded experiments in which mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage. The organization says another experiment involved the severing of rabbits' arteries in order to cause impotence, with the rabbits then being fed POM juice to test impotence.”

Article:

Eatery bans juice over animal testing

http://www.malibutimes.com/articles/

2007/01/10/news/news3.txt

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
A local eatery, at the urging of animal rights group PETA, has banned a pomegranate juice maker from its shelves. Local celebrity Pamela Anderson joins in the cause.

By Jonathan Friedman / Assistant Editor

A popular local eatery refuses to sell the trendy health drink, POM Wonderful, which came on the market in 2002, after learning the juice may be used in torturous tests on animals.

John's Garden says it stopped carrying the drink at the urging of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which claims the Los Angeles company that produces the drink uses it while conducting unethical tests on rabbits and mice.

"We're very conscious about these things, animal rights and all kinds of rights," said store manager Svetlin Dimov.

PETA says POM has funded experiments in which mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage. The organization says another experiment involved the severing of rabbits' arteries in order to cause impotence, with the rabbits then being fed POM juice to test impotence.

"These are conscious, sentient beings and we don't have a right to do research on them," said Shalin Gala, a spokesperson for PETA.

Seth Faison of the public relations firm Sitrick and Co, who was hired by POM last month shortly after a company executive quit due to harassment from radical animal rights activists, would not address the specific allegations about the kind of experiments done with POM juice. But he did say the company funds animal experimentation.

"POM is concerned about the human health benefit of pomegranate juice, and it has funded research at top academic institutions," Faison said. "And to do top-notch research sometimes requires research on animals first. So our position is that we are funding science to learn about cancer and heart disease in human beings and the benefits of POM juice. The testing that we fund does include a very small amount of animal testing."

Faison continued, "We're interested in science and human health, and not in political correctness."

Faison specified that POM funds the research, but does not actually conduct it. He said the institutions doing the experiments include UCLA and Johns Hopkins University. UCLA spokesperson Phil Hampton said the university has done animal testing that involves pomegranate juice, but he could not confirm if it has specifically included POM's product. Hampton said animal research at the university is done humanely.

"All research at UCLA involving animals undergoes a rigorous review by a panel that reviews it for scientific necessity and all state, federal and local laws to ensure humane treatment of animals," Hampton said.

Gala said PETA turned its attention to POM last summer following successful campaigns against Ocean Spray, Welch's and other juice makers that led to those companies vowing to stop testing on animals. PETA sent a request to POM asking that it also cease animal testing. A reply arrived shortly after from company President Matt Tupper saying that some animal testing is necessary. Gala said there has been no communication since then, but Faison said in recent days Tupper had made "renewed communication last week."

However, Faison said POM would not be bullied by PETA. He accused the animal rights group of being affiliated with radical organizations that have taken less than diplomatic measures to express their displeasure with POM. A group calling itself the Animal Rights Militia posted a message on the Internet last month claiming it had contaminated 487 bottles of POM in several retail chains on the East Coast. The claim was never proven, and POM denounced it as a cruel hoax. Last fall, POM won a court injunction against animal rights activists who were harassing its employees at their homes. Fiona Posell, POM's vice president for corporate communications, quit the company last month after what she said were months of harassment toward her and her family from animal rights activists.

"POM holds PETA responsible for the fringe groups that take extremist actions," Faison said. "When they say 'we're just doing our campaign and this has nothing to do with us,' we don't believe that. We think they're affiliated."

Gala denied PETA had any association with the militant groups, and said he had never heard of the Animal Rights Militia until finding out about last month's contamination scare.

PETA has found a friend in Malibu celebrity Pamela Anderson in its campaign. Anderson, who has been associated with the organization for several years, has posted a message on her Web site urging people to boycott POM. It also contains a link to a video on PETA's Web site that shows footage of animal experiments. There is no way to tell if those experiments are ones funded by POM.

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