Grape King Bio—Top Taiwanese Biotech, Drink Co.—Bans Animal Tests After Push by PETA, KiTA

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Taipei – Following discussions with PETA and its partner organization Kindness to Animals (KiTA), Grape King Bio—the largest biotech fermentation health-food company in Taiwan and maker of popular reishi products and energy drink ComeBest—has banned all animal tests not explicitly required by law.

The company’s new policy says that it “prioritizes human research, and does not conduct, sponsor, or entrust/outsource third-parties to conduct animal experiments that are not expressly required by laws. If the laws have not been updated and … animal testing … cannot be avoided, we will require the responsible parties to follow the 3Rs (replace, reduce, refine)” [English translation].

Grape King Bio has conducted or funded animal experiments that involved mutilating and killing at least 1,333 animals, purportedly to support human health claims for marketing probiotics, reishi mushrooms, goji berries, and other products and ingredients to consumers. These included force-feeding rats, forcing mice to inhale allergens and chemical vapors, and starving animals. All the animals were killed and dissected.

“No animals should be force-fed, sickened, and killed in cruel and unreliable tests,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “Grape King Bio’s kind decision to ban experiments on animals will help PETA persuade other major food companies to embrace more effective, ethical, and economical animal-free tests.”

PETA is also working to eliminate the Taiwanese government’s requirements for tests on animals. The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) has adopted two groundbreaking reforms: First, it removed horrific drowning and electroshock tests on animals from its regulation concerning companies attempting to make anti-fatigue health claims for marketing their products. Second, it updated its safety-testing regulation for foods, which will now prioritize “non-animal test methods that are internationally recognized.” It has also removed all animal tests from a draft regulation for blood pressure health claims after receiving PETA’s scientific comments, and PETA and more than 96,000 supporters continue to call on the TFDA to ban animal tests for a separate joint-protection health claim for marketing foods and beverages.

PETA and KiTA have successfully persuaded major food companies in Taiwan—Asia’s largest food and beverage conglomerate, Uni-President Enterprises Corp.; Taiwan’s largest health-food company, Standard Foods Group; a leading soft-drink maker and bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company, Swire Coca-Cola Taiwan; and others—to end animal experiments not required by law. The groups call on other companies, including Nestlé licensee AGV Products Corp., to follow suit.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind