This is an awesome year for many reasons (have you seen our slideshow?), and a great one has to be today’s victory over cruel animal tests! Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed with PETA and ruled that no further animal testing is needed to declare that a natural plant-based sweetener derived from stevia is safe for use in food and drinks. Why is that so great? Well, before today’s decision, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) was pushing for more animal tests on the herbal extract, even though it’s been widely recognized as safe. I mean, stevia has been used safely for more than 400 years! It’s bad enough that it was tested on helpless rats in the first place, but they wanted to test it on even more animals? Come on!
Everyone knows how animals in laboratories suffer, so why would anyone knowingly choose to inflict pain on another creature for the sake of unreliable and cruel animal testing, especially when there are so many cruelty-free alternatives? CSPI tried to say that they needed to test on rats and mice because the rats they used before weren’t good models for the substance’s toxicity in humans. Hang on, what? That’s right, they know that the tests on rats don’t work, but they want to repeat the tests on rats and do even more tests on mice. Anyway, the FDA finally did something right and approved the substance without the additional animal tests. Score!
Unfortunately, there is still animal testing going on, and the CSPI is still pushing for more and longer animal tests. You can help by sending a polite letter to CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson asking him to focus CSPI’s work on safe and effective non-animal testing methods.
Written by Lianne Turner