FAQs About Seventh Generation’s Animal Testing
Q: What is Seventh Generation doing that will lead to more animal tests?
A: While the company itself does not test on animals, Seventh Generation has been actively pushing for federal legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that will require thousands of new chemical tests on animals. These new tests mean that tens of millions of animals will be poisoned unless we are able to include language mandating that non-animal methods be used as a first choice—that animals be used only as a “last resort.” We and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have repeatedly asked Seventh Generation to support this language in its lobbying efforts, but the company has refused.
Q: Seventh Generation is now telling me that it is advocating for non-animal tests in TSCA reform. Is that true?
A: This new claim directly contradicts what Seventh Generation has told PETA and PCRM in private and in its original responses to customers. In fact, Seventh Generation wrote to PCRM on June 13, 2014, saying that PCRM’s letter recommending that animals be used only as a last resort is “not really compatible with our position/approach to chemical reform.”
Since Seventh Generation is now suddenly saying that it is working toward the same goal, PCRM has asked Seventh Generation to explain where and how the company has advocated for non-animal tests but has received no response to this question.
Q: Why is Seventh Generation saying that PCRM’s letter and Tox21 will set toxin reform back decades?
A: Tox21 is a general approach to chemical testing that uses the most scientifically advanced, cutting-edge non-animal methods to test more chemicals in a single day than have been tested in the past 20 years using animals. These methods allow scientists to test mixtures of chemicals and their effects on sensitive populations better than animal tests. The National Academy of Sciences issued a pivotal report in 2007 calling for the use of these high-tech methods in order to better protect public health and the environment from the dangers of harmful chemicals. Many of the methods are already being used by the U.S. federal government and others to test thousands of chemicals, and new methods are being continuously developed.
Seventh Generation is now telling customers that it will not sign on to PCRM’s letter calling for the use of animals as a “last resort” in chemical testing because it believes that Tox21 “technology just isn’t ready.” But Tox21 methods and “last resort” language are two separate issues. PCRM’s letter does not say that chemical reform legislation must use the Tox21 approach. The “last resort” language that we are asking for means that companies would only conduct an animal test after they have used all other methods of obtaining data. Seventh Generation is mixing up Tox21, which PCRM describes in the letter as an approach to chemical testing that we should be striving toward, and “last resort” language, which is what we need the legislation to require now. PCRM has repeatedly explained this to Seventh Generation, but the company’s insistence on conflating the two issues could lead to the poisoning of millions of animals in chemical tests. All available non-animal methods should be used before even one animal is poisoned.
Q: I’m confused! Isn’t Seventh Generation saying that it doesn’t support animal testing?
A: If you’re confused, it’s because Seventh Generation has changed its story line repeatedly. Not only has the company mixed up the issue of “Tox21” and the use of animals as a “last resort,” its representatives are also making many contradictory statements on social media and elsewhere about the company’s position on animal testing. For instance, the company publicly declared in some responses that it has the same stance as PETA and is completely opposed to all animal testing, yet it has also implied that it is comfortable with animal tests until “viable alternatives” are “ready.” Elsewhere, it has said that it is only opposed to “unnecessary” animal testing.
Q: Is PETA opposed to toxic-chemical reform as Seventh Generation claims?
A: For the last 15 years, PETA’s Regulatory Testing Division, which has more scientists and toxicology experts than does any other animal protection organization, has been working hard to reform the way chemicals are tested. Not only is saving animals from gruesome chemical tests the right thing to do to, unreliable results from animal tests also just lead to confusion about how chemicals will affect people—and this leads to more animal tests and to our continued exposure to dangerous chemicals. PETA believes that for our sake and for the sake of our children and the environment, it is critical that toxicity testing methods be modernized along with reform of chemical legislation.
Watch this video to find out why animal tests donꞌt work and how modern, non-animal testing methods are able to produce safer chemicals and a healthier environment.
Q: What does Seventh Generation need to do?
A: Seventh Generation needs to (1) either sign the PCRM letter or work with PCRM to revise the language of the letter and then sign it and (2) take concrete action along with PCRM to support inclusion of the “last resort” language in any toxic-chemical reform legislation. Nothing that Seventh Generation is currently offering to do on this issue is meaningful. Examples of concrete actions that Seventh Generation could take would be to refuse to support legislation that would increase animal testing, set up congressional meetings with PCRM to ensure that language mandating that animals be used only as a “last resort” is included in any proposed chemical reform legislation, and add PCRM speakers to the agenda of its coalition meetings.
Q: What can I do to help stop animal testing in chemical reform legislation?
A: Please see our action alert for more information and let Seventh Generation know what you think of the company’s refusal to support a simple change in legislative language that would prevent millions of tests on animals.