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It's time to kiss ChapStick goodbye.
Pharmaceutical kingpin Pfizer—maker of ChapStick lip balm—has refused to ban a cruel and useless animal experiment that some of its competitors have ceased conducting.
Following discussions with PETA, Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie Inc. have said that they'll no longer use the "so-called forced swim test" in their efforts to develop new drugs.
In a November letter to Pfizer's CEO and board chair, PETA asked that the company join the ranks of the enlightened—but heard only excuses in return.
In the test, a mouse or rat is given a test compound and is then dropped into a beaker partially filled with water. The animal has no chance of escaping. Panicked, they furiously try to escape by climbing up the sides of the container or diving underwater in an attempt to find a way out. Eventually, the animal begins to float.
Experimenters affiliated with Pfizer have called the test a measure of an animal's "depression-like behavior," but that theory has been debunked. "[T]here is no single sign or symptom of depression modeled" in the test, researchers concluded in a 2015 review.
At least 1,270 mice and rats have suffered needlessly in Pfizer's experiments. And in the 18 years that publications show the company has used the test, it hasn't led to any marketable drugs to treat human depression.
Not a single one.
Pfizer still refuses to commit to banning the test. Chuck your ChapStick until Pfizer stops torturing animals. Instead, use one of the more than a dozen lip balms on PETA's list of cruelty-free products.
While you're at it, take action below to let Pfizer know why you're no longer using ChapStick.
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