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Issue 16
MRC Baboons
Vet Council Continues to obfuscate
Local researchers question animal models
Does Dove give a Rats's *** ?
Proposed Code a 'Vivisector's Charter'
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Enchantrix - now country-wide distribution
Vivisection retards medical progress
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DOES DOVE GIVE A RAT'S*** ?


      There is a saying that 'he who pays the piper calls the tune' and readers of The Star are left to wonder at the fact that the Verve section (January 14), devoted almost an entire page to singing the praises of Dove Toiletries, marketed by Unilever.
      But the gentle image of a dove on these products belies the fact that Unilever and Dove Toiletries are on the banned list of several consumer organisations including Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and SAAV (South Africans for the Abolition of Vivisection).
      Unilever have been widely criticised for irresponsible marketing as well as exploiting employees. They have convictions for water pollution offences, fines for dumping concentrated tonnes of sulphuric acid into sewage systems, and have been accused of supporting brutal, repressive regimes. Sources include The Ethical Consumer Guide to Everyday Shopping published by the Ethical Consumer Research Association, Corporate Watch and McSpotlight (www.mcspotlight.org) among others.
      Then there is the animal abuse. Unilever test their cosmetics, toiletries, household cleaners, foods, food additives and chemicals on rabbits, rats and guinea pigs. One might well ask what sort of a company clamps live animals in vices and drops chemicals in their eyes for the sake of beauty, especially as there is no law requiring them to do so?
      In an article entitled Unilever Doesn't Give a Rat's*** about animals. (www.peta.org) more details are available about how Unilever also force steel clamps into the mouths of baby rodents, swab their teeth with chemicals every day for three weeks, then chop off their heads, cut out their tongues and slice open their jaws to examine their teeth. Nice!
      But there's more. While toothpaste companies in America have traditionally been required to test fluoride products on animals, Tom's of Maine was given permission by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) to use a non-animal method to test its fluoride toothpaste. Because of this, Colgate and other toothpaste companies have submitted their own non-animal tests to the FDA for approval of their fluoride products. Unilever is fighting to torture animals by urging that the FDA not even consider any other test.
      The Verve article waxes lyrical because Dove is now using 'real people' as a marketing ploy to persuade more members of the gullible public to buy their merchandise. We are told that this campaign will boost women's self esteem. It is telling, however, that only Dove personnel, who enthused about embracing the Dove view of 'real beauty' and other such self-congratulatory twaddle, were interviewed for the article. Perhaps that's why no mention is made of the dark side of Unilever and Dove.
      The truth is that 'Real' women are informed and compassionate consumers, who wouldn't dream of supporting companies that indulge in such cruel and barbaric practices, irrespective of how many millions of rands they spend on advertising campaigns to ensure full and unquestioning media support worldwide.
      It's a pity journalists don't apply the same standard of ethics to their eulogizing of such multinational companies. Or was this a paid-for advertorial?

      Please tell Unilever that you won't buy its products until it stops animal testing.

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