Study Shows Company Coauthored an Experiment in Which Mice Were Killed and Their Brains Cut Up to Establish Health Claims for Product Marketing
For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2019
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Hershey, Pa. – The Hershey Company has adopted a new policy banning cruel and fatal laboratory experiments on animals in order to establish health claims for marketing its products and ingredients, following discussions with PETA.
The decision comes after PETA scientists pointed out that The Hershey Company —which had signed PETA’s Statement of Assurance against animal experiments in 2007—coauthored a 2014 study on mice to establish health claims for marketing chocolate products. Experimenters killed mice and cut up their brains, perfused the brain slices with protein aggregates affected by Alzheimer’s disease—and some also with Lavado or Dutched cocoa extracts—and measured the slices’ electrical responses.
In an e-mail to PETA, Hershey Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Leigh Horner wrote, “[T]his study was an anomaly and has not happened since.” At PETA’s request, the company posted a new policy on its website stating, “The Hershey Company does not conduct, fund or contribute to animal testing.”
“The maker of Hershey’s vegan chocolate syrup is being truly sweet by sparing animals bitter lives of misery and deprivation in deadly laboratory experiments,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “This Valentine’s Day, PETA is calling on all other candy companies to give animals a lifesaving gift by cutting all support for animal tests.”
Hershey’s new policy against animal testing is part of a larger global trend. After talking with PETA, Ezaki Glico (the maker of the popular Pocky sticks), Japanese chocolate giant Meiji Holdings, and Morinaga & Co. (the manufacturer of HI-CHEW candies) have all publicly stated that they’ve ended laboratory experiments on animals that aren’t required by law. Cumulatively, these companies had funded or conducted lethal tests on more than 1,000 mice and rats since 2014. Swiss chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli—which hadn’t previously conducted tests on animals—has now formalized a ban on animal experiments at PETA’s request.
PETA’s correspondence with The Hershey Company and other confectionary companies is available upon request.