Taiwan FDA Spares Countless Animals Deadly Laboratory Toxicity Tests After PETA Plea

For Immediate Release:
December 9, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Taipei – Following pressure from PETA, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) this week released its newly updated food-testing regulation titled “Health Food Safety Assessment Method,” which will now prioritize “non-animal test methods that are internationally recognized”—a landmark move that follows PETA’s recommendation to accept animal-free test methods approved abroad that will spare countless animals’ lives.

To ensure the safety of human food ingredients, the TFDA’s previous draft regulation accepted only evidence from misguided animal tests as well as those non-animal testing methods listed in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals. In February 2020, PETA sent a letter to the TFDA urging the agency also to accept advanced non-animal testing methods endorsed by other international regulatory bodies—including those based in the EU and U.S.—and to consider these superior methods prior to pursuing any animal tests. PETA provided an up-to-date list of such animal-free methods maintained by the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd., which covers all toxicological endpoints. Now that the TFDA has adopted PETA’s recommendation, there should be little to no health-food safety tests on animals in Taiwan going forward.

“PETA applauds the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory change that will prevent countless animals from being force-fed, killed, and dissected just so that health-food companies can make dubious health claims about their products,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA looks forward to a day when all food tests are conducted through superior, human-relevant research methods that leave gentle mice and rats in peace.”

Previously, after hearing from PETA, the TFDA removed all animal tests—including ones in which mice or rats are drowned or forced to run to exhaustion on an electrified treadmill—from its separate draft regulation for marketing foods and beverages using dubious anti-fatigue health claims. In October, actor Maggie Q sent a letter on PETA’s behalf asking the TFDA to do the same for a different draft regulation for joint-protection health claims, noting one particularly cruel test in which experimenters inject chemicals into rats to induce painful arthritis, withhold pain relief, starve them for 12 hours, and then kill and dissect them. More than 100,000 people have also signed a petition by PETA and PETA Asia opposing this test.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, click here or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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