Officials in Greater Tainan and Nantou are on the lookout for meat products containing residues of growth-enhancement drugs after a sample of ractopamine-tainted beef was found in Chiayi County.
The owner of the restaurant chain where the sample was taken said that it had come from New Zealand.
Health officials in Greater Tainan yesterday confirmed that the beef sample contained 1.29 parts per billion (ppb) of ractopamine.
They said the meat in question was a combination of different cuts, possibly made up of layers of beef from different sources.
The restaurant said it had bought beef from a company in Greater Kaohsiung that is supplied mainly by Shuh Sen Co (樹森開發) in Taipei, one of the major importers of US beef in Taiwan. The company has warehouses in Keelung and Greater Kaohsiung.
The issue of US beef imports containing residues of the feed additive ractopamine has stirred a storm of controversy in Taiwan in recent weeks because the government is considering relaxing the ban on the drug to increase imports of US beef.
On Monday, 7,490kg of US beef imported by Shuh Sen found to have ractopamine residue was destroyed in Taipei.
On Monday, health officials in Tainan said that a sample of another beef shipment contained 10.93ppb of ractopamine.
Also on Monday, health officials found 0.88ppb of zilpaterol, another kind of growth additive, in a sample of beef, reportedly from Australia, sold at a supermarket in Chiayi County.
In Nantou County yesterday, a sample of sliced beef was also found to contain zilpaterol. The beef, supplied by a company known as Yukuo Co (裕國冷凍), had been sold to a nationwide supermarket chain under the label “Yukuo sliced beef imported from Australia.” The company said it had delivered 3,000 packages of the sliced beef to the PXmart (全聯實業) supermarket chain store since November last year.
Nantou Health Bureau officials have started an investigation to track Yukuo’s upstream suppliers and to find out whether beef from other countries is being sold as Australian products.
As in Taiwan, the use of both zilpaterol and ractopamine is banned in beef production in Australia, according to the Australian representative office in Taipei.
Zilpaterol hydrochloride is an adrenergic agonist drug currently licensed in Mexico and South Africa as a feed additive for cattle at slaughter age.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.