Shareholder Campaign: Johnson &
& Johnson (J&J) is one of the largest health-care companies in the
world, producing a broad range of health-care products, including
pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and
over-the-counter drugs. Government
regulations prescribe a certain amount of testing on animals for
medical products; however, companies are afforded a certain degree of
flexibility in choosing the tests that they will use to establish the safety
and effectiveness of a new substance or formulation. Companies may also choose
to eliminate all tests and uses of animals not mandated by government agencies.
2005 Resolution: Give the Animals 5
With the help of PETA supporters who held stock
in J&J, a resolution was filed in the fall of 2004 calling on the
company to "Give
the Animals 5"—replace five crude and cruel tests on animals with state-of-the-art
and scientifically valid non-animal methods that were already in use in other
J&J opposed our resolution and sought permission from the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exclude our resolution from its
proxy statement. Fortunately, the SEC staff ruled in PETA's favor and did not concur with the company's position.
Following the SEC's
ruling, PETA contacted J&J's corporate secretary in a good-faith effort to
establish a dialogue in lieu of bringing our resolution forward at the company's
annual meeting. Subsequent meetings resulted in an ongoing discussion that led
PETA to voluntarily withdraw its shareholder resolution and to work with
J&J to reduce its animal use.
2011 Resolution: Live Animals in Training
with J&J foundered over the company's use of live animals for training its
sales representatives in the use of surgical products and its inconsistent use
of non-animal simulators. PETA's 2011 resolution called upon J&J to adopt available non-animal methods whenever possible and
incorporate them consistently throughout all the company's operations and
eliminate the use of animals to train sales representatives. The supporting
statement for the resolution cited PETA's findings that certain J&J facilities used live pigs for
training medical professionals while other companies used non-animal simulators
for the same purpose and that J&J used live animals to train sales
representatives, including at least one non-employee intern.
use of animals largely contradicted the company's own Guidelines for the Use of
Animals in Teaching & Demonstrations. J&J argued that since its guidelines
existed, PETA's proposal had been substantially implemented.
PETA argued that if the guidelines were in fact being followed, the instances discussed
in the supporting statement could not or should not have occurred.
The SEC agreed with PETA, stating that although the
company has adopted the guidelines, the proposal asked the company to take
specific steps to maintain and promote those standards.
This was a significant victory that put companies on notice that its paper
policies are not necessarily sufficient to allow them to exclude a proposal. PETA's resolution garnered almost 73 million
shares (4.7 percent).
Live Animals in Training
PETA filed a similar resolution in 2012, specifically calling on J&J to use
non-animal methods for medical device training and to incorporate them consistently
throughout the company's operations. Even though J&J opposed the
resolution, claiming the company's existing policies already addressed the
elements in the proposal. PETA's resolution was brought to a vote and garnered almost
73 million shares (4.4 percent).
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.