Sun, Sep 09, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Health department orders removal of diet supplements from shelves

NOT PROVEN SAFE:If the products are still able to be purchased after 5pm today, Abbott Taiwan could be fined NT$30,000 to NT$3 million, the department said

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Six types of dietary supplements that are imported and resold by Abbott Taiwan and have been recalled are displayed by the Taipei Department of Health in Taipei yesterday.

Photo provided by the Taipei Department of Health

The Taipei Department of Health on Friday evening issued a notice on six types of dietary supplements imported and resold by Abbott Taiwan (亞培台灣), after the company received 629 consumer complaints in eight months.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received several complaints about the quality of a canned dietary supplement called Ensure (original flavor) imported by the company, which consumers said had deteriorated before its expiration date, so it asked the department to investigate.

Talks with company managers and a review of their records last week showed that Abbott Taiwan had received 629 complaints about six types of canned products between January and last month, department Food and Drug Division director Wang Ming-li (王明理) said.

The company said that it reported the complaints to the manufacturer in the US, and because safety concerns were excluded, it did not report them to the department or the FDA, she said.

However, as of 5pm on Friday, Abbott Taiwan could not prove that the products were safe, so in accordance with the city’s food and safety regulations, the department asked the company to

remove all six supplements from shelves within 48 hours, Wang said.

The six products are Ensure (original flavor), Suplena, Nepro, Osmolite, Jevity and Osmolite HN.

The company could face a fine of NT$30,000 to NT$3 million (US$975 to US$97,479) if the products are available for purchase after the deadline, the department said.

Abbott Taiwan has agreed to replace or refund purchases of the six supplements, and people can call its customer service line at 0800-036-688 to make enquiries, FDA Northern Center official Wei Jen-ting (魏任廷) said.

More than 330,000 cans had been removed from shelves as of 2:30pm yesterday, FDA statistics showed.

The department has collected samples of the six products for examination, the results of which would be available in one or two weeks, Wang said, adding that the US manufacturer has said that it is sending representatives to meet with department officials to clarify the case tomorrow.

This story has been corrected since it was first published.

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