Taiwan removes animal testing option for blood pressure supplements

Taipei, Feb, 23 (CNA) The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) on Wednesday removed animal testing as an option for companies filing applications to certify their blood-pressure control products to reduce the inhumane treatment of lab animals.

The new policy, which took effect Wednesday but comes with a two-year grace period, will also tighten the conditions under which tests on human subjects can be performed, the TFDA said.

TFDA official Chen Yu-hsuan (陳瑜絢) told CNA that it decided to abandon the animal testing option for food products and supplements claiming to have health benefits, which has been in use since 2006, to meet growing public expectations for animal welfare.

Given that some companies may be in the middle of conducting animal tests, however, the new law allows for a grace period of two years, during which applicants can still apply to register their products based on tests using existing methods, Chen said.

The TFDA first removed the animal testing option for food products and supplements claiming to reduce fatigue last year, Chen said, and the agency will consider taking similar actions for foods and supplements advertised as having other health benefits.

The TFDA currently issues permits for 13 types of health foods and supplements, including those claiming to delay aging, improve digestion, and protect teeth, the liver and other organs.

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