In the day-to-day development of our chocolate, gum and confection, food, drinks, and pet care products we do not undertake, support or sponsor studies that harm animals. This represents the vast majority of our activities and products.
On very rare occasions, we need to introduce a new raw material that has not been used in foods before. Legal and regulatory requirements compel us to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this new raw material. In these isolated instances:
- We may sponsor a limited number of studies involving rats, mice, fish and other aquatic species.
- We always meet, and in many cases exceed, the legal and regulatory requirements for the humane treatment of animals on local, state and national levels.
- We apply the widely accepted “3R’s” principle of replacement, reduction and refinement* to the design of these safety and efficacy studies. This means that we look to replace animal studies with non-animal approaches that meet regulatory requirements wherever possible, ensure we only use the minimum number of animals necessary to provide scientifically valid results, and constantly review the care provided and the methods used to conduct our studies.
In 2007, we established the Mars Animal Research Review Board, an international body of internal and external experts, to guarantee that our research, and the research of our partners, complies with this policy and that we maintain the highest ethical standards when conducting studies involving animals.
The Mars Animal Research Review Board also ensures that we only support university educational initiatives that are fully in line with our policy.
To appropriately and responsibly respond to a health and safety emergency, the Mars Animal Research Review Board may approve exceptions to this policy.
* For more information on the “3R’s” principle, please refer to the website of The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), an independent scientific organization tasked by the UK government with supporting the application of the 3R’s.