Community Coordinator | Wellington, New Zealand | Contactable via nadia@livekindly.co

Yakult Honsha, a Tokyo-based company that manufactures probiotics has just taken a huge step to “empty the labs” and end all of its own animal testing related practices. This move comes after animal rights organization PETA pressured Yakult to ban the studies they were doing on animals.

While not required by law, Yakult used animal testing to make health claims about its products, however, as humans and animals are genetically very different, comparing what happens to animals as it would happen to humans is irrelevant and inaccurate. PETA took action after learning how Yakult’s cruel experiments involved feeding mice probiotics, then subjecting these innocent creatures to infection and radiation – while others were fed apple extract and then forced to run on a treadmill until exhausted.

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As PETA pointed out, these tests pose no real benefit to improving human health, particularly as the company was testing ingredients that have no real threat of human toxicity.

In an attempt to likely please customers, improve efficiency, and save money – Yakult’s president wrote a letter to PETA saying all animal experiments will cease and that only tests devoid of animals will now be performed.

With an increasing awareness of animal welfare issues – consumers are creating demand for cruelty-free products. Yakult’s move signals a trend like Canada’s cruelty-free bill in the early stages of outlawing similar outdated practices.


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons