A popular local eatery refuses to sell the trendy health drink, POM Wonderful, which came on the market in 2002, after learning the juice may be used in torturous tests on animals.
John's Garden says it stopped carrying the drink at the urging of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which claims the Los Angeles company that produces the drink uses it while conducting unethical tests on rabbits and mice.
Faison specified that POM funds the research, but does not actually conduct it. He said the institutions doing the experiments include UCLA and Johns Hopkins University. UCLA spokesperson Phil Hampton said the university has done animal testing that involves pomegranate juice, but he could not confirm if it has specifically included POM's product. Hampton said animal research at the university is done humanely.
However, Faison said POM would not be bullied by PETA. He accused the animal rights group of being affiliated with radical organizations that have taken less than diplomatic measures to express their displeasure with POM. A group calling itself the Animal Rights Militia posted a message on the Internet last month claiming it had contaminated 487 bottles of POM in several retail chains on the East Coast. The claim was never proven, and POM denounced it as a cruel hoax. Last fall, POM won a court injunction against animal rights activists who were harassing its employees at their homes. Fiona Posell, POM's vice president for corporate communications, quit the company last month after what she said were months of harassment toward her and her family from animal rights activists.
"POM holds PETA responsible for the fringe groups that take extremist actions," Faison said. "When they say 'we're just doing our campaign and this has nothing to do with us,' we don't believe that. We think they're affiliated."
Gala denied PETA had any association with the militant groups, and said he had never heard of the Animal Rights Militia until finding out about last month's contamination scare.
From Gentle Strength Cooperative (Tempe AZ) director Nancy Ryan. Attached poster posted at the Coop in PDF form.
What we do for the well-being of all creatures, we do for ourselves.
Please forward this information to others.
The co-op pulled POM products from its shelves. A PETA member (and a Gentle Strength) alerted the Co-op about this problem. She also informed us that the response from Whole Foods regarding POM was that it would not pull the product from their shelves because customers had other products to choose from.
I think that says it all. The Co-op again supports its mission statement of people over profits.
In line with this, be aware of the tinkering by the USDA with its petitions from growers to use synthetics. We can expect these organic standards to be watered down to a level where it no longer can be considered organic. Because of this, the Co-op has increased its diligence in locating sources of produce and products that exceed the USDA certification standards.
Our customers have told us that we are comparable in prices. The only time the chains become truly competitive is their sale on matching items.
Watch for such signage as "from local growers" (or the ilk). It is NOT organic.
Needless to say, now is the time to really support local organic farmers and your Co-op.