PETA URGES FDA:
An executive from the US group said that a company’s policy to ban animal testing of its products was a model that others in Taiwan should emulate
Companies are no longer required to test their products on animals to apply for “anti-fatigue health food” certification with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), prompting celebrations among animal rights groups.
The amendment to the FDA’s regulations on April 15 made human research the only requirement, removing the use of animal tests.
The FDA said at the time that it made the change to make its rules on experimental methods and lab practices for evaluating the health benefits of health foods “clearer and more comprehensive.”
It means inhumane practices such as drowning and electroshock tests conducted on animals by companies to back marketing claims that consuming their products improves endurance would no longer be conducted in Taiwan, animal rights groups said.
US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which said it has been urging the FDA to ban animal tests, said that the amendment was a victory for the animal welfare movement.
Among the tests abandoned will be drowning mice and rats, as well as making them run to exhaustion on an electrified treadmill, PETA said.
In treadmill tests, scientists feed rats large quantities of the test food and put them on treadmills equipped with electrified plates, PETA said.
The animals are forced to run at increasing speeds and to test how long they continue before exhaustion means they prefer the zaps over continuing to run, the group said.
After the trial, the rats are killed and dissected, it said.
Animal experimentation is cruel and a colossal failure, as 90 percent of animal tests fail to lead to treatments for humans, while more than 95 percent of new drugs that were safe and effective for animals fail in human clinical trials, PETA said.
The Standard Foods Group — the largest health food company in Taiwan and a licensee of PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Company — this month became the country’s first major food and beverage company to ban animal tests not required by law.
The company said in a statement that it would adapt to international scientific and animal welfare trends and “not conduct, sponsor, or entrust/outsource to third parties animal testing unless expressly required by regulations.”
PETA vice president Shalin Gala lauded the company’s move, saying it is a “groundbreaking policy that others in Taiwan should follow by using safe human studies instead of cruel animal tests.”
PETA said that it has written to 19 other major health food companies in Taiwan that have collectively conducted more than 8,000 “inhumane” tests on animals over the past two decades in laboratory experiments not required by law.
It also launched an online petition urging them to ban this “archaic practice.”
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