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PepsiCo Stops Funding Animal Testing

May 9, 2007

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc., which was targeted by animal rights activists because it helped pay for experiments involving mice and rats, said on Wednesday it will no longer fund such tests.
In a statement posted on its Web site, PepsiCo said it does not perform any animal testing itself and will encourage organizations it works with to find alternatives to animal testing.

"PepsiCo does not do any animal testing and does not directly fund testing using animals," the company said. "We will ... share this statement with organizations we believe to be involved in projects potentially involving animal research done on behalf of PepsiCo or with PepsiCo or PepsiCo foundation funding."

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had been negotiating with PepsiCo over its animal testing policies for a year, the group said.

According to PETA, PepsiCo's Gatorade Sports Science Institute funded a student research project in which mice were infected with a respiratory virus and then forced to exercise on a treadmill for three days.

In addition, its PepsiCo Foundation funded an experiment in which testosterone pellets and human prostate tumors were implanted in mice, PETA said.

PepsiCo spokeswoman Elaine Palmer said PepsiCo is not always aware of the specific projects it funds through partner institutions or organizations.

"The problem is, of course, that these are partners," Palmer said. "With an organization as large as PepsiCo, it's hard to fully police that, so we're hoping that this statement will make known that we encourage our partners to use alternatives to animal testing."

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