LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- POM Wonderful, the nation's
leading producer of pomegranate juice, announced today that it appears
to be the target of a cruel hoax by the Animal Rights Militia, which
has boasted to the media and on the internet that it intentionally
contaminated bottles of POM Wonderful juices in several retail chains
on the East Coast of the United States.
So far, POM has found no evidence of any contamination of its
products, and has not received any reports of complaints from
customers or retailers. POM is cooperating with law enforcement
agencies and is investigating by going into stores and checking its
"POM Wonderful is outraged by the boasts of the Animal Rights
Militia," said a spokesman for the company. "If it is a hoax, it is a
form of blackmail. If actual contamination has taken place, with the
intention of injuring innocent people, it is an act of terrorism.
Either way, the Animal Rights Militia is trying to scare and
intimidate innocent people. That is criminal behavior."
POM also asks members of the news media to show extra caution in
publicizing these claims. "We would ask that you be extra careful not
to inadvertently be party to a hoax, nor to imply that the media in
any way endorses terrorist tactics made in the name of animal rights,"
the spokesman said.
POM Wonderful said that in recent months, animal rights activists have
pressured POM to sign a statement renouncing all animal research. POM
refused. "Our research is helping to save human lives," the spokesman
The vast majority of POM research involves human studies, which has
led to breakthrough results on prostate cancer and heart disease,
among other findings. As a result of that research, people facing
those diseases now have greater hope. Only a small fraction of POM's
research involves testing on animals, though it never includes dogs,
cats or primates. When animals are involved, testing follows
well-established scientific protocol and every effort is made to
insure that no harsh or cruel methods are performed. These animal
studies help pave the way for eventual human research.
Recently, a handful of animal rights activist have resorted to terror
tactics in a crude attempt to disrupt POM's medical research. Masked
protesters have stalked POM employees at their homes, screaming
profanities and threats of violence and terrorizing their young
children. The harassment became so dangerous that a California State
Court issued a preliminary injunction barring these protesters from
further terrorizing POM employees. Despite this injunction, radical
groups have continued to harass employees and their children, at their
homes in the middle of the night.