Victory: Yakult Honsha Ends Animal Experiments After PETA Appeal

Tokyo-Based Food and Beverage Company—and Its Korean Subsidiary—Agrees to Stop Force-Feeding, Poisoning, and Killing Rodents in Cruel Tests

For Immediate Release:
January 18, 2018

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Just weeks after PETA urged Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., to stop force-feeding, poisoning, and killing rodents in order to make various questionable health claims about its products, the Tokyo-based food and beverage giant, which sells probiotics and other products in the U.S. and all over the world, has pledged to end all its experiments on animals for health claims and conduct only non-animal studies going forward.

In a letter to the company, PETA pointed out that since all the tests involved common food ingredients with no toxicity concerns, studies could have been safely conducted using humans—and, in fact, numerous such studies have already been conducted and published.

“Yakult Honsha did the right thing in ending cruel animal studies, which are irrelevant to human health and not required by law,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on other companies that still experiment on animals to follow suit and embrace modern and humane, animal-free research methods instead.”

PETA notes that experiments conducted by Yakult Honsha included subjecting mice to whole-body radiation, injecting them with chemicals, force-feeding them probiotics or bacteria to induce lethal infections, and feeding them apple pomace extract before forcing them to run on a treadmill until exhaustion. At the end of the experiments, the animals were killed and dissected.

Yakult Honsha joins a growing list of companies—including House Foods, Barilla, Kikkoman, The Coca-Cola Company, Lipton, Ocean Spray, Welch’s, and POM Wonderful LLC—that have worked with PETA to end animal tests.

PETA’s letter to Yakult Honsha is available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
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