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The Physicians Committee



Invest in a Humane Stock Market

We've been in a bear market. And you remember the bull market. But what about a rat or rabbit market: a market in which companies that are trading stocks are not trading on cruelty to animals? PCRM is working on a campaign to require several publicly held pharmaceutical companies to implement policies designed to replace animal testing.

rabbitThe first step in asking these companies to end outdated, unscientific, and cruel animal testing is filing shareholder resolutions—proposals submitted by stockholders for a vote at a company’s annual meeting.

PCRM’s shareholder resolutions would require Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Chevron, Merck & Co., and Pfizer to disclose their animal use, including species and numbers of animals and the nature and purpose of each use. It would also require a written plan for replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use.

“Many companies, including Baxter, publish sustainability reports outlining environmental goals and progress. We want these companies to be as transparent about animal use they are about water and energy use,” says PCRM scientific adviser Nancy Beck, Ph.D. “Detailed reporting on animal use would help companies track trends and could reveal areas to reduce animal testing.”

Shareholders at Baxter already voted on PCRM’s proposal. The resolution did not pass in the first round of votes but did receive enough votes to be submitted for possible inclusion in Baxter’s 2010 proxy materials and to be presented at the next shareholder meeting. Baxter officials expressed interest in learning more about nonanimal testing methods and in working with PCRM. PCRM hopes to gain more support among shareholders to eventually secure passage.

Animal testing raises serious ethical concerns, and the poor validity of these tests is increasingly raising red flags among researchers. Nine out of 10 drugs that appear to be safe and effective in animals fail in human trials, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More than half of all approved drugs are later relabeled or withdrawn after causing serious harm to humans.

The deadline for filing the shareholder resolutions is imminent. PCRM needs one or more stockholders for each one of the companies listed above. The stock must be worth at least $2,000 and have been held at least since November 2008. The stock can be held in your own name or by your broker, but it cannot be owned through a mutual fund. 

If you or someone you know meets these requirements, please contact PCRM attorney Mark Kennedy at 202-686-2210, ext. 315, or mkennedy@pcrm.org.



Nancy Beck, Ph.D.
Nancy Beck, Ph.D.

PCRM Online, August 2009

 
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