Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Was Your Tea Tested on Animals?

Written by PETA | December 15, 2010
mourner/CC by 2.0

UPDATE: Unilever—the the world’s largest tea maker, which makes the Lipton and PG Tips brands—has agreed to halt all animal tests. Please read here for more info.

If you’re sipping Lipton, it was. The makers of Lipton tea have conducted (or paid others to conduct) painful, invasive tests on hundreds of animals—possibly more. Here are some of the details: 

  • Rabbits were fed a high-fat diet and then given tea to see if it affected the plaque that had formed on the animals’ arteries. After the experiment, the rabbits were decapitated.
  • Mice were fed tea ingredients to see if they had any effect on bowel inflammation. After the test, experimenters killed the mice by suffocating them or breaking their necks.
  • Rats were forced to eat a high-sugar diet, and then tea was given to the animals to see if it had an impact on their sugar-induced brain damage.
  • Piglets were infected with E. coli toxin and then fed tea in order to see if the tea affected diarrhea. Experimenters cut the pigs’ intestines apart while the animals were still alive.

None of these tests were required by law. In fact, regulators have stated that animal tests are not sufficient to prove a health claim about a product.

Please take a moment and urge the makers of Lipton to stop the crueltea to animals and to use modern, non-animal testing methods instead, just as Honest Tea, Stash, Twinings, Luzianne, and other tea companies already do.

Written by Alisa Mullins

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  • Keziah says:

    Does anyone know whether Tetly or Yorkshire Tea test on animals???

  • Emma D says:

    This is disgusting. Animal testing is always horrible, but tea? I used to be obsessed with Lipton ice teas, I haven’t had one since I knew of this. My mum just made me a home made ice tea and it was great, so no more Lipton for me until this stops! Actually, no more Lipton for me at all. I would never buy a product from a company that would even consider doing such awful things.

  • PETA says:

    You can read more details about these experiments in the following reports: • Yvonne E. M. Dommels et al., “The Effects of Dietary Curcumin and Rutin on Colonic Inflammation and Gene Expression in Multidrug Resistance Gene-Deficient (mdr1a−/−) Mice, A Model of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases,” British Journal of Nutrition (2009) 101: 169-81. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18761777) • Sara Coves et al., “Green Tea Increases Insulin Sensitivity and Decreases Brain Oxidative Stress in Fructose-Fed Rats,” FASEB Journal (2008) 22: 445.4. (http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/22/1_MeetingAbstracts/445.4) • Heping Cao et al., “Green Tea Polyphenol Extract Regulates the Expression of Genes Involved in Glucose Uptake and Insulin Signaling in Rats Fed a High Fructose Diet,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2007) 55.15-6372-78. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17616136) • M.J. Bruins et al., “In Vivo and In Vitro Effects of Tea Extracts on Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-induced Intestinal Fluid Loss in Animal Models,” Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (2006) 43.4: 459-69. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17033520) • Kuang-Yuh Chyu et al., “Differential Effects of Green Tea-Derived Catechin on Developing Versus Established Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-Null Mice,” Circulation (2004) 109: 2448-53. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15136500) • Lilian B. M. Tijburg et al., “Effects of Green Tea, Black Tea and Dietary Lipophilic Antioxidants on LDL Oxidizability and Atherosclerosis in Hypercholesterolaemic Rabbits,” Atherosclerosis (1997) 135: 37-47. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9395271

  • rissy says:

    i use to drink lipton alot i’m glad i don’t anymore, how can these people do these things to living things. there living things like us! why not they just test on themself and leave the poor inocent defenceless animals alone

  • Chocostove says:

    Is there any chance that someone could post references to the labs in question? After I learned of this and shared it with my friends a few people were so flabbergasted by the absurdity of the whole concept of this kind of testing that they were in disbelief. I’d like to show them just how real this is.

  • Sharon F. says:

    It is not enough to stop buying Lipton tea or send an e-mail, you must call and complain loudly. I just did and the phone representative spouted garbage about Lipton being concerned with animal welfare and human health and being required to test on animals, which we know is an outright lie. Please everyone, call them. Their number is 1 888 547-8668. We must be the voice for the tortured, captive animals. They have no-one else.

  • bella says:

    I don’t doubt this happened, and I am fully against animal abuse, but where is the proof that this was done? It doesn’t mention anyone going undercover or where they got the facts on these experiements.

  • Zama says:

    I’d like to know where you got this information. PETA isn’t exactly the most reliable source and when it has an agenda, as with other biased organizations, it distorts so-called findings for its own purposes. So people, like anything else you find on the web, make sure the information is accurate and properly cited before you make rash decisions.

  • Mary Ann says:

    How is it possible for a company to be so CRUEL and such BUFFOONS all at the same time???

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Ack, won’t miss that mass-produced “tea” much at all. Though I doubt the non-animal tests the other company uses are any more relevant–especially when making “health claims”.

  • Diana M. says:

    Horrible! Never agian will i buy this tea until this stops.

  • Emma says:

    Oh my god. Horrendous. I was having my afternoon cup of liptons tea while reading this! Never drinking Liptons again and am going to stop buying it for my workplace. Why the hell do you need to test tea on animals.

  • Cathy says:

    …what do you need ot test on animals for – IT’S FREAKIN’ TEA!

  • Catherine says:

    This is scandoulous! in the 21st centuary do we really need to test on animals still? I shall not ever buy from them again thankyou for all your good work and announcements that I have on my facebook personal & professional! Catherine

  • nancy says:

    I will never purchase anything from Lipton again.

  • Shannon says:

    I grew up drinking Lipton tea. I will not buy anymore until they stop this. Thank you for the information PETA. I would have never known Lipton tested on animals.

  • mouselover says:

    theses tea makers have serious bran damages and just need a LIFE they r sooo going down “there” with their devil friends. U R THE MOST HATED PEEPS IN AMERICA

  • Ash says:

    This is completly horrible! Why in the world would they do something so inhumane and UNNEEDED! These animals did not and DO NOT deserve this kind of treatment!

  • ocean17 says:

    what Robin said. what a crock and as we all know totally unnecessary. this is really senseless, that is shameful. i like to drink tea, i’ll drink anything, of course. but now Lipton tea is out of the question. i can do better at Trader Joes anyway. Happy Xmas.

  • Robin Medley says:

    This is senseless. I don’t purchase your tea but am telling all that I know who do not to because of these cruel tests. Shame on you!!!