Nestlé’s Animal Testing – A Cheaper Alternative to Available Data?

A recent report made by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) brought to light unnecessary animal testing done by major food corporations, such as Nestlé, Unilever, and Danone/Dannon. Nestlé defended saying that animal testing is only used for “medical foods”. Health claims on food items are strictly regulated by the FDA and need to be supported by high-ranking scientific studies. However, this still includes the use of animal testing even though reliable existing human data is available. Dr. Katy Taylor, head of science at BUAV, states, “There is a thin line between medical and regular foods anyway – Nestlé was testing goji berries – that is a regular food isn’t it?”

Dr. Taylor further states that organizations like the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) prefer human data, which exists extensively on the market. “The motivation to do this for most companies is financial – it is cheaper [than using human data] and less hassle to conduct animal trials.” Per the BUAV website, ” Not only do animals suffer the painful effects of conditions… but such animal ‘models’ are poor representations of complex and long-running human conditions”.

Types of animal testing done by the various companies included

  • Injections to cause colon disease
  • Force fed product under illness/abuse/stress
  • Starving
  • Fed Hydrochloric Acid
  • Inspection of removed fetuses after testing

Read more of the original article from NutraIngredients.com.

Rat & Goji Berries | Urban Hermits

Source: Shane Starling, Nestlé: ‘Our animal testing has nothing to do with superfoods or health claims’, Nutra Ingredients, 21 June 2013

“BUAV condemns cruel animal experiments by major food companies to prove ‘health benefits’.” BUAV website. 2013.

Illustration by Lauren Korany, Urban Hermits

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