Victory! Microbio Co. Bans Animal Tests on Health Foods


Following conversations with PETA and our partner organization in Taiwan, Kindness to Animals, as well as e-mails from more than 68,000 PETA supporters, Microbio Co.—a Taiwanese pharmaceutical and health food producer—has ended animal tests for its health food products.

The company conducted or funded at least five such experiments from 2005 to 2016. Now, it has joined the list of companies that have left such cruel, archaic, and useless tests behind.

The company issued the following new policy statement [English translation]:

The health food–related certifications applied by Microbio Co. prioritizes human consumption research. It will not conduct, sponsor, or entrust/outsource third-parties to conduct animal experiments that are not expressly required by laws.

How Were Animals Used in Testing by Microbio Co.?

Microbio’s experiments on animals involved mutilating and killing at least 270 of them, purportedly to support health claims for marketing ginseng, turmeric, and other products and ingredients to consumers. In the tests, experimenters did the following:

  • Repeatedly force-fed mice ginseng, injected them with allergens that caused extremely painful allergic reactions, and took their blood, then broke their necks to kill them and dissected them
  • Fed rats an iron-deficient diet to induce anemia, then force-fed them iron and a common Chinese herbal medicine blend and repeatedly took their blood
  • Force-fed rats carbon tetrachloride to induce liver damage, made them ingest turmeric, took their blood, and then killed and dissected them

PETA Has Scored Groundbreaking Wins for Animals in Taiwanese Laboratories

In banning horrific tests on animals after hearing from PETA, Microbio joins other conscientious, forward-thinking companies in Taiwan. Other companies there that have made the compassionate decision to end archaic experiments on animals following talks with PETA scientists include the following:

  • Uni-President, Asia’s largest food company
  • Standard Foods Group, the largest health food company in Taiwan and licensee of PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Company
  • Swire Coca-Cola Taiwan, one of Taiwan’s leading soft drink manufacturers and bottling partner for The Coca-Cola Company
  • Vitalon Foods Group, the third-largest health food company in Taiwan
  • Lian Hwa Foods Corp., well known for its snack foods and a major supplier to convenience store giant 7-Eleven in Taiwan
  • Yakult Co. Ltd., known for its probiotic drinks in Taiwan
  • Grape King Bio, Taiwan’s largest biotechnology fermentation health food company, known for its popular energy drink there
  • AGV Products Corp., which produces, distributes, and markets Nestea products in Taiwan

PETA also recently applauded the proposed change by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) to drop animal testing from its blood pressure health claim regulation for foods, which it did after receiving our detailed scientific critique submitted at the agency’s request. This progressive move will prevent countless animals from being used in cruel and stressful experiments that involve locking rats who were born to develop high blood pressure in laboratory cages, feeding them foods of interest in three dosages for at least eight weeks, and measuring their blood pressure response using the stress-inducing tail-cuff method.

The TFDA—after receiving scientific comments from PETA as well as thousands of our supporters’ pleas to end animal testing—also made historic announcements that scores of vulnerable animals would no longer be drowned or electroshocked in order for companies in Taiwan to make anti-fatigue health claims for food and beverages and that the agency would now prioritize internationally recognized, non-animal tests for assessing food safety.

PETA is now pushing for the TFDA to amend a different draft regulation to prohibit health food companies from mutilating rats in attempts to make joint-protection health claims.

What You Can Do for Animals in Taiwan

PETA is leading a global movement against tests on animals—we’ve persuaded dozens of food and beverage companies to end (or commit to never starting) experiments on animals. Animal experiments for food and beverage marketing don’t advance human health and have no place in modern research.

Please take action today to urge other Taiwanese companies to switch to more effective and ethical animal-free research.


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