Human Interest

Activists protest animal testing at Japanese food giant

Tokyo, Jun 27 (EFE).- Activists from animal rights organization Peta protested Tuesday in front of the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese food giant Ajinomoto against its animal testing policy, which they said is on the “dark side.”

The activists went dressed as “Star Wars” stormtroopers and held placards outside the premises as the company held its annual shareholders’ meeting.

“Ajinomoto will be on the dark side of history as long as it continues to torment animals in painful and invasive experiments, all to market food and beverages to humans,” Peta Senior Vice President Jason Baker said in a statement.

“Peta is urging Ajinomoto to embrace the force of compassion and join the dozens of other global food giants that have ended animal tests and embraced humane and superior non-animal research. Ajinomoto, the galaxy is watching, and the choice is yours: Jedi or Sith? May compassion be with you.”

The animal rights group alleged that since 1950, Ajinomoto has tested on dogs, rats, mice and piglets to establish health claims for marketing the company’s food products and ingredients.

“These tests are neither relevant to human health nor required by law,” Peta said.

In 2021, the company pledged to follow the “3Rs” – “replacement: consideration of methods other than animal testing; reduction: minimal use of animals; and refinement: selection of methods that keep pain to the minimum” – and stated that its researchers would receive education in animal physiology, biology and behavior and animal ethics prior to undertaking any work.

“We always seek viable alternatives that minimize testing on animals. Across the Ajinomoto Group we are committed to understanding and deploying alternative methods and new technologies, where viable, and do not conduct testing on animals as much as possible,” the commitment published by the company on its website states.

Founded in 1909, Ajinomoto is one of the leading Japanese food multinationals and currently operates in 36 countries, producing prepared foods, additives, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and other chemical compounds used in the semiconductor industry. EFE


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