PETA is taking the food and beverage industry by storm when it comes to convincing major corporations to stop conducting and funding animal tests. Not only has PETA convinced Welch’s, Ocean Spray, POM Wonderful, and PepsiCo to end all animal experiments, now multibillion-dollar beverage-industry giant Coca-Cola has agreed to end all its animal tests as well!
Prior to hearing from PETA, Coca-Cola had a history of conducting invasive and deadly animal experiments—including cutting open chimpanzees’ faces in order to conduct taste tests and force-feeding chemicals to rats to test “caramel color”—none of which is necessary or required by law.
Coca-Cola’s senior vice president and chief innovation and technology officer, Danny Strickland, wrote the following to PETA on May 22, 2007:
“I want to assure you that The Coca-Cola Company does not conduct animal tests and does not directly fund animal tests on its beverages. … We are sending letters to our partners and research organizations who may conduct safety evaluations on … ingredients insisting they use alternatives to animal testing, when such testing is both available and accepted by governments. We encourage the use of alternative testing methods whenever and wherever possible and financially support research to develop these alternative methods.”
Strickland also wrote to PETA concerning a deadly physiology test on sour taste reception in rats that we learned Coca-Cola was funding:
“Recently senior management became aware that research involving rats was being conducted as part of a grant we had funded at Virginia Commonwealth University to study taste reception. We have contacted the University and have discontinued our funding.”
Coca-Cola’s commitment not to fund tests on animals and its instructions to ingredient suppliers to “use alternatives to animal testing” are a sign of hope for the millions of animals who are forced to endure cruel and needless experiments every year in barren laboratory cages.