ITO EN Group Animal Testing Policy

Green tea leaf
Green tea leaf

The mission of the ITO EN Group is to contribute to creating a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle for people through the development and provision of products and services, while studying the properties of tea and its ingredients. Therefore, the ITO EN Group has a great responsibility to evaluate and guarantee the safety and quality of its products for the health of all customers.

The ITO EN Group has a policy not to conduct animal testing in the development of all the products it handles from the perspective of the "spirit of animal protection" and "Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)", which are becoming increasingly important worldwide.

The cases in which animal testing may be unavoidable are limited to below cases ONLY, where there is no alternative choices:

  • · When required by government law or regulation.
  • · For product safety research; or
  • · For medical research.

Even in the above cases, the ITO EN Group shall not conduct such animal testing at their own facilities. More specifically, whenever animal testing is unavoidable, it must be reviewed by the Animal Testing Committee established at ITO EN and only those that have been approved by such committee shall be outsourced to an external third-party testing and research organization.

In this connection, the ITO EN Group strictly observes the 3Rs, which are fundamental rules internationally, scientifically, and ethically:

  • [1] Replacement (to replace with alternative approach as much as possible other than animal testing.)
  • [2] Reduction (to minimize only to scientifically necessary cases of animal use.)
  • [3] Refinement (to eliminate pain, explore euthanasia measures, and improve breeding environment, etc.)

The ITO EN Group only consigns implementation of animal testing to an external third-party testing and researches organization that have a thorough understanding of animal physiology, ecology, and behavior, as well as advanced knowledge and skills in testing. The ITO EN Group shall also confirm suitability and ensure objective judgment of all of such testings.

Currently, the ITO EN Group continues to explore "next generation" alternative technologies to replace animal testing, as well minimizing through new technologies. The ITO EN Group is actively working to introduce such methods, and is more rigorous with a policy towards complete elimination.