Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Cosmetics safe from mad cow disease, Taiwan Salt says

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH BLOOMBERG

Taiwan Salt Co (台鹽) yesterday ensured consumers that its collagen-rich cosmetics are safe from possible mad cow disease, which has been reported in the US, saying the company will not withdraw its products from the shelves.

As the first case of cattle infected with mad cow disease was reported in the US earlier this week, the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday announced the suspension of imports of cosmetics, medical instruments, biological products and medicine that contain cow or sheep tissue from the US. The department further said that if the US was confirmed to be an area affected by mad cow disease, these products would be required to be removed from the shelves and destroyed within two months.

"The collagen we import from the US to produce our skincare products is extracted from cow skin, which is safe from the disease according to a code of the World Organization for Animal Health," Taisalt Chairman Cheng Po-ching (鄭寶清) told a press conference yesterday.

"The DOH's rule will not affect us," he said.

Cheng said that the collagen Taisalt imports was originally intended for medical use and has passed examination by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Taisalt's collagen-rich line of skincare products have been selling like hot cakes among other competitors in the local market and has become the company's cash cow. Sales of Taisalt products have grown tenfold from NT$40 million in June to NT$400 million at the end of last month.

Meanwhile, Taisalt has been given three months to elect independent directors or its shares will be suspended, the Commercial Times reported, citing unidentified stock exchange officials.

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