A Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislator yesterday filed a malfeasance suit against Department of Health (DOH) Minister Hou Sheng-mao (侯勝茂) and Bureau of Food Sanitation director Cheng Huei-wen (鄭慧文) after the recent uproar over the use of ractopamine in pigs.
Ractopamine, marketed under the brand name Paylean, is a feed additive that is used to increase weight gain, carcass leanness and feed efficiency in animals.
Representatives of local pig farmers' associations accompanied TSU Legislator Yin Ling-ying (
Yin said although the Council of Agriculture (COA) had banned the use of ractopamine in pigs last November, the bureau only began to examine pork for the additive in June.
She said the bureau had found certain batches of pork imported from the US contained traces of ractopamine.
Eaten by consumers
With a total of 7,400 tonnes of pork having been imported from the US between November and June, Yin said she suspected that more than 1,000 tonnes containing the banned substance had already been eaten by consumers.
She accused the DOH of jeopardizing consumers' health and said the officials had neglected their duties in addition to breaking the law.
The COA said in a statement on Wednesday that the ban on ractopamine would soon be lifted.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokeswoman Yeh Fei-pi (
Additional reporting by CNA