Not so sweet afterall

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I am one of the world's biggest chocolate lovers, though I usually try to refrain from going overboard especially during Halloween. When going to Walgreens I'll sometimes pick up a bag of bite-sized Twix or Snickers to share; however, if the recent email I received from PETA a few days ago (please see below) is even a little bit true, I'll stop buying every single product this company makes and encourage my friends and family to do the same. It's sickening and just doesn't make sense to torture and kill animals for food testing (or almost any testing for that matter). Forget the flavanol health claims if it means harming these tiny creatures. If it's humans that are supposed to benefit from this antioxidant, shouldn't they test these products on people? ---------------------------------- PETA has uncovered gruesome evidence that candy giant Mars has been paying experimenters to conduct deadly tests on mice, rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits. We're launching a worldwide boycott of Snickers, M&M's, Twix, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Starburst, Dove, Skittles, and other Mars-made products until the company has a heart and stops hurting animals. Right now, Mars is funding a study at the University of California, San Francisco, in which experimenters force-feed rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats. The animals are then killed and cut open. Mars has also paid experimenters to do the following: * Force mice to swim in a pool of water and paint and find a hidden platform to avoid drowning—only to be killed later * Surgically attach plastic tubes to guinea pigs' carotid arteries and inject cocoa ingredients into their jugular veins to induce dramatic decreases in blood pressure * Force rabbits to eat high-cholesterol diets with varying amounts of cocoa and then cut out and examine primary blood vessels to their hearts Not one of these tests is required by law for candy. Mars' chief competitor, Hershey's, has already signed PETA's statement of assurance pledging never to conduct or fund tests on animals. We need your help to end Mars' cruel experiments! Visit our new MarsCandyKills.com campaign Web site to find out what you can do to help. Sincerely, Jason Ullman Anti-Vivisection Campaigner PETA -------------------- PETA boycotting Mars candy co. over animal cruelty Fri Dec 7, 9:25 PM ET People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for a boycott of M&Ms, Twix candy bars and other snack foods made by Mars Inc, claiming the company funds experiments that kill mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits. "In violation of its own written policy, the candy company is currently funding a study at the University of California, San Francisco, that uses rats. The rats are force fed by having plastic tubes shoved down their throats, and they are then cut open and killed," PETA said in a statement. "In response to this new information, PETA is filing a legal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over Mars' false statement," the group said in a statement. The FTC investigates claims of dishonesty in advertising. Mars spokeswoman Alice Nathanson said regarding the University of California experiment: "I can't speak to any information that PETA may or may not have. I can't speak to any experiments." But, she said that the privately held company "would never issue or post a statement that we were not 100 percent confident in." PETA spokeswoman Kathy Guillermo said in an interview the experiments seemed aimed at developing health claims for chocolate because it contains flavonoids. Health studies have found that flavonoids protect against heart disease and cancer. Guillermo said the boycott would start on Monday. Mars says on its Web site that it bars animal research "involving euthanasia, vivisection or the suffering of any animal" in developing its snacks, drinks and pet products. But the Web site also says that a separate business unit, Symbioscience, would undertake "limited forms of animal testing" when required to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of "pharmaceutical and therapeutic food products." PETA said in its statement that Mars paid for experiments in which mice had to swim in a pool of water and paint and find a hidden platform to avoid drowning and were killed later. The group also accused Mars of funding an experiment in which plastic tubes were surgically attached to guinea pigs' carotid arteries and cocoa ingredients were injected into their jugular veins to cause a sharp drop in blood pressure, and another experiment in which rabbits were fed high-cholesterol diets with varying amounts of cocoa and later the main blood vessels to their hearts were cut out and examined. The University of California, San Francisco, confirmed in a statement that it was conducting a Mars-funded study of the potential health benefits of cocoa flavanols involving testing on rats. "UCSF takes seriously the responsibility of working with animals and is committed to maintaining the highest standard of humane treatment in animal care and use," Clifford Roberts, interim associate vice chancellor for research said in the statement. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

Jeanette Lee Hada

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