PETA Protesters at Goldman Sachs Conference 'Fireside Chat' Will Call On Pharma Company to Ban Cruel, Scientifically Flawed Forced Swim Test
For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
New York – On Thursday morning, a group of PETA-affiliated “mice” will protest outside the Goldman Sachs 12th Annual Healthcare CEOs Unscripted Conference to urge Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio, who is part of the “fireside chat,” to ban the discredited forced swim test.
When: Thursday, January 9, 9:30 a.m.
Where: Outside Goldman Sachs headquarters, 200 West St., New York City
In the forced swim test—also called the “despair test”—mice, hamsters, or other small animals are placed in inescapable beakers of water and made to swim to keep from drowning, purportedly to shed light on human depression. The test is less accurate than a coin toss in determining the effectiveness of antidepressant medications. Many pharmaceutical giants, including Bayer, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk A/S, AstraZeneca, AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Pfizer, have banned the test after hearing from PETA.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb has forced more than 1,000 frantic animals to swim for their lives in a test that hasn’t yielded even one treatment for human depression,” says PETA neuroscientist Dr. Emily Trunnell. “PETA is calling on Mr. Caforio to ban the forced swim test in favor of advanced, animal-free research methods that might actually help people suffering from depression.”
Last month, PETA and another Bristol-Myers Squibb shareholder submitted a joint shareholder resolution calling on the company to assess the effectiveness of the forced swim test and report to shareholders on the matter. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.