You're right, it isn't an absolution. I also agree that Iams explanation of what the person hired to do is quite possibly lip service. I do question, though, that the only evidence is this video, which, supposedly, is off a research facility that Iams, along with other organizations used, not an Iams research facility. Thier research policy has been produced many times, and the only arguement against it has been that "they're lying". While I would never doubt the power of the almighty buck, and the PR department, I wonder why it is that there has never been any documented proof that thier policy is anything other than what they have released (when I say documented proof, I mean things like internal memos, or former employees who say that this document they release is bogus).
I'm trying to look at this from the point of view of sitting in the middle, kind of they way a judge would look at it, if you will (maybe it's the wannna be cop in me). On the one side, we have this video, pretty damning evidence. Iams arguement is that it shows parts of the facility that were not involved in anything Iams was researching. There is no rebuttal to that, other than to say "they knew what was happening". Perhaps, but we have no proof of that, so I ignore that part of the video. Iams says that had they known, they would have stopped using the facility. They then stopped using the facility. The arguement is, "Well, yea, because you were caught". Maybe, but the bottom line is they pulled out of the facility as soon as it became apparent what was going on. We can assume it was a PR move, or use it as evidence to support what Iams says. If we are going to judge this impartially, I think we have to either "rule" in favour of Iams on this point, or ignore it completely. Another piece of evidence is the person who is seen cleaning up before an inspection (again, I haven't seen the video, I read this on the PETA site). This isn't a fair damnation of Iams, it isn't thier facility. How do we know that a similar thing did not happen when "the suits" from Iams came to visit? It can be argued that because this is caught on film by someone who was supposed to be an Iams employee. However, this "employee" had a mission to prove wrong-doing. It could also be argued that they purposely won the confidence of the lab to see things that normally wouldn't be seen by an employee. Flimsy arguement, but plausible. Again, it falls back to Iams pulled out shortly after the video became apparent, not after a long boycott campaign.
My take on it at this point? I'm a little unsure. If this were a trial, and I were a judge, I'd have to say, okay, stalemate. I need some more proof. On Iams side, we have these respected organisations standing up for them (to varying degrees), on the the other side, we don't have anything else, except things from the distant past and rebuttles of "they're lying".
Again, I'm bringing this up as a point of debate, and I hope it is being taken that way. Also, I'm starting to feel a little like I might be thread-jacking, and if that's the case, I'm sorry. Let me know, and I'll shut up.