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P&G use this barbaric and unnecessary blood sampling method
P&G use this barbaric and unnecessary blood sampling method which risks yet more severe suffering and death for innocent animals.

Yet More Procter & Gamble Cruelty Exposed!

Uncaged has uncovered more scientific papers describing how Procter & Gamble's 'Herbal Essences' brand is tested on animals. The paper, published in the journal Birth Defects Research [1], describes how scientists from Procter & Gamble (P&G) [2] killed 128 rats in a repeat test of chemical ingredients [3] found in Herbal Essences. The test was carried out in the United States.

This new evidence has intensified the long-running global campaign against P&G's animal testing. Thousands of animal welfare activists are hitting high streets and shopping malls on Saturday 16 May, which marks the 13th annual Global Boycott Procter & Gamble Day, spearheaded by Uncaged [4].

P&G used a particularly painful blood-sampling method in the test, and kept the animals in sparse, miserable housing conditions. All the animals underwent a highly controversial blood-sampling procedure called 'retro-orbital bleeding' which involves puncturing the eye socket as a capillary tube is pushed behind the animal's eyeball. It often causes painful eye damage and serious complications - in this test two animals suffered lesions and bleeding so severe they had to be killed. UK Government advisors on animal tests acknowledge this method can cause severe harm and therefore recommend against its use [5].

The test was pointless and unnecessary. For unknown reasons, the results conflicted with previous identical animal tests. Furthermore, the doses were up to 1,000 times higher than normal human exposure, and rats absorb chemicals differently to humans for various reasons, including their inability to vomit. As this chemical is already widely used, the effects could have been tested using human volunteers.

When people buy Herbal Essences and other P&G products, they are unwittingly supporting the most extreme and gratuitous cruelty imaginable. P&G won't even show the minimum of mercy to animals. Once again this shows that the animal welfare concerns expressed by brands such as Herbal Essences are nothing more than crocodile tears designed to fool consumers into thinking the companies has ethical standards.

These animal tests are just a crude strategy to allow companies to use chemicals without really testing their safety for humans. P&G's only concern is maximising profits, so the best way for consumers can influence them is by hitting them where it hurts - in the pocket.

Thank you to the Dr Hadwen Trust for their scientific advice.

Uncaged Campaigns 14.05.09


  1. Hoberman AM et al (2008) "Lack of effect of butylparaben and methylparaben on the reproductive system in male rats". Birth Defects Research (Part B) 83:123-133
  2. Unilever and L'Oreal also participated in this animal test.
  3. Butylparaben and methylparaben.
  4. Contact Uncaged for details of the protests.
  5. www.nc3rs.org.uk/bloodsamplingmicrosite/page.asp?id=388


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.