“Animal Rights Militia” Claims Juice Poisoning
Posted: December 20, 2006
A militant animal rights group claims to have poisoned bottles of POM Wonderful juices in several retail chains on the East Coast to protest animal testing.
A a communiqué from the Animal Rights Militia (ARM), which was posted on the North American Animal Liberation Press Office Web site, reads: “Those who drink the contaminated juice won’t die like the animals in pom labs, but the diarrhea, vomiting and headaches will hopefully send a strong message that people will no longer allow innocent defenseless animals to be tormented and killed for a health juice.” The validity of the claim has not been verified.
The communiqué goes on to say, “more and more activists like us will choose to retreat into the shadows and fight for the animals underground since the government is making it impossible to do the kinds of things that those who came before us did to oppose injustice, oppression and exploitation.”
POM Wonderful, based in Santa Monica, California, has been a target for animal rights groups becasue the company uses animals to test its juice. POM employees have received threats and have been harassed by protesters during demonstrations at their homes. A California State Court has even issued a preliminary injunction barring protesters from harassing POM employees, although the injunction has apparently had little effect.
ARM, which surfaced in Britian in the 1980s, has previously claimed credit for contaminated products, causing companies financial losses. For example, in 1984, ARM said it poisoned Mars Bars (candy bars) in Britain because the Mars Company had performed tooth decay experiments on animals. ARM acknowledged the alleged poisoning was a hoax after the company withdrew the candy from shelves.
ARM has also claimed responsibility for similar activity in North America. In 1992, a new food bar was pulled from store shelves across Canada after ARM claimed it had injected the bars with oven cleaning fluid. A bar sent to a news organizations in Edmonton contained an alkaline substance, according to police. In 1994, two supermarkets in Canada receiving an message from ARM saying that it had injected rat poison into turkeys at several stores. “The holidays have finally arrived and so has the Animal Rights Militia,” the message said. “We are here to avenge the mass murder of millions of Christmas turkeys.”
ARM has also claimed credit for for other criminal acts, inlcuding letter bombings. For example, in 1982, the group claimed repsosnisibilty for sending letter bombs to British politicians, including then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The letter bomb exploded inside the Prime Minister’s London residence, slightly burning one staff member.
In 1998, ARM threatened to kill 10 scientists if Barry Horne, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for waging a 1994 firebombing campaign that caused £3 million in damage to stores in England, died while on a hunger strike. Horne, who eventually discontinued the strike after 68 days, died of liver failure in prison in 2001.
While ARM claims to be a separate organization from the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), its goals and tactics are similar. ALF’s UK press officer, Robin Webb, has said that if “someone wishes to act as the Animal Rights Militia,” ALF’s policy of taking every reasonable precaution not to harm or endanger life “no longer applies.”