Groundbreaking Win: Taiwan FDA Ends Drowning, Electroshock Tests on Animals After PETA Plea

Companies to Use Only Safe and Effective Human Studies as Evidence for Anti-Fatigue Health Claims for Marketing Food and Beverage Products

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2021

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Taipei – Today, after receiving PETA’s detailed scientific critique at the agency’s private request and more than 73,000 e-mails opposing animal testing from PETA supporters during a public comment period, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) made the groundbreaking announcement that horrific drowning and electroshock tests—previously conducted on scores of vulnerable animals—are no longer allowed in order to establish anti-fatigue claims for marketing food and beverage products.

According to the TFDA’s final anti-fatigue health claim regulation, companies’ marketing statements that consuming their food and beverage products may help consumers be less tired after exercising must now be based solely on safe and effective human studies.

Dozens of prominent food and beverage products in Taiwan bear the anti-fatigue claim, for which—prior to hearing from PETA—the TFDA had previously recommended conducting drowning and electroshock tests on animals.

For the drowning tests, experimenters were required to feed mice or rats large quantities of the test foods and then starve them for up to 24 hours, drop them into individual beakers filled with water, and observe how long it took them to drown or remain underwater for eight consecutive seconds. Experimenters were advised to add lead coils to the animals to speed up the process.

For the electroshock tests, experimenters were required to feed rats large quantities of the test foods, put the animals on treadmills equipped with electrified plates, force them to run at increasing speeds and inclines, and observe how long it took for them to choose being repeatedly electroshocked over continuing to run. At the experiments’ end, all the animals were killed and dissected.

“The TFDA’s long-awaited move will spare countless vulnerable animals in laboratories the terror of electrocution and drowning simply for a food-marketing label,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA thanks the TFDA for listening to our scientific critique and ditching cruel animal tests that are irrelevant to human health, and we urge the agency to end animal tests for other health-marketing claims as well.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—also submitted a scientific critique and organized more than 91,000 concerned consumers and medical experts to write to the TFDA to urge it to ban animal experiments for a separate joint-protection health claim that’s under review. Actor Maggie Q has sent the TFDA a letter in support of PETA’s call to ban animal tests from these two regulations.

PETA can provide videos of similar drowning and electroshock tests on animals upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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Media Response Team.

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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