Representatives from pig farmers' associations protested outside the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday, demanding that the department stand firm on the ban against ractopamine.
Ractopamine, the feed additive marketed under the trade name Paylean, is banned by the Council of Agriculture. The additive is, however, legal in the US and other countries.
Cheng Huei-wen (
The representatives, including the directors of five regional pig farmers' associations and two deputy directors of the Republic of China Swine Association (ROCSA) asked the department not to lift the ban on ractopamine.
The bureau of food sanitation deputy director, Hsieh Ting-hung (
Two shipments of US pork caused widespread concern when they tested positive for ractopamine, a beta-agonist drug used to cause livestock to gain lean weight quickly. Although both shipments were rejected by customs, the incident sparked concern that previous, untested shipments of US pork may have entered the local market.
Subsequent stepped up testing of locally produced pork revealed ractopamine residue in three out of 43 samples.
Yang Ju-men (
Deputy director of ROCSA Yang Guan-chang (
"We think those who violated the ban should be punished," Yang said. "The fact that they broke the law is no reason to change it."
Local and national pig farmers' associations support the ban 100 percent, she said.
"We have been contacted repeatedly by representatives of Eli Lilly, who wanted our support for Paylean," Yang said. "However, they could not give us a satisfactory answer on two key points -- the high level of ractopamine residue in organ meats and the difficulty of differentiating the substance from other, more dangerous beta-agonists."
According to Yang Chen-chang (