FDA orders removal of nutritional supplements over safety concerns

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Wei Jen-ting.

Wei Jen-ting. (By Central News Agency)

Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) Six different types of canned nutritional supplements produced by U.S. pharmaceutical firm Abbott Laboratories were ordered to be removed from store shelves in Taiwan due to concerns about health and safety, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday.

The branded items affected were Ensure, Suplena, Nepro, Osmolite, Jevity and Osmolite HN, according to the FDA. They are all produced by the company.

Wei Jen-ting (魏任廷), an official with FDA's Food Safety Division, said the administration made the decision after it received a total of 629 customer complaints in the first eight months of this year over these products.

An investigation later found that many of the complaints were related to rancidity and putrid tastes in the products, Wei said.

According to the FDA, a total of 1.72 million cans of the affected items were imported from the United States between January and August this year.

As a precautionary measure, the administration has given the manufacturer a 48-hour notice to remove the products from Taiwan's store shelves until further testing can be done, Wei said.

The company has yet to provide a guarantee to health authorities that their products posed no threat to safety, according to Wei.

Businesses that fail to comply with the food safety regulations and report to authorities over items that could cause health issues will be subject to fines of between NT$30,000 (US$980) and NT$3 million, Wei said.