UW-Madison Corporate Sponsor Pulls Animal Testing Funding After Push From PETA

For Immediate Release:
April 13, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. – After hearing from PETA, Kikkoman—the world’s largest Japanese-style soy sauce manufacturing company and a sponsor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Food Research Institute (FRI)—has replied in writing that it will prohibit the FRI from using its funding any longer for animal tests and instead will specify that the donations be allocated to educational programs, special meetings, and administrative expenses only. Kikkoman, which has donated at least $1 million to UW-Madison, ended its own animal tests in 2015 after talks with PETA.

The FRI has conducted a spate of curiosity-driven animal experiments despite the tests’ inapplicability to human health, the absence of any regulations requiring such tests, and the widespread availability of superior, non-animal research methods.

Recently, FRI experimenters mated 25 female monkeys, force-fed them whipping cream contaminated with Listeria—after which 17 fetuses died from the bacterial infection or were killed—repeatedly took their blood, cut them open, removed the dead fetuses along with tissue from the mothers, and dissected the fetuses. In addition, FRI experimenters subjected at least 56 mice to cruel experiments. They repeatedly force-fed the mice bacteria, suffocated them, and dissected them. Experimenters also injected mice with C. botulinum bacteria and waited for the animals to die from the toxin.

“Kikkoman’s new policy sends a strong message to UW-Madison that there’s no appetite for cruel and deadly food tests on animals,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on UW-Madison’s Food Research Institute to follow the growing shift away from disgraceful animal experiments and toward more effective, ethical, economical animal-free research.”

Kikkoman’s progressive move comes more than a decade after PETA scored a victory at UW-Madison in 2006 by persuading grape-product giant Welch’s to ditch its funding of animal experiments there. Those cruel tests included cutting open dogs’ chests and bleeding monkeys.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind