Pingtung County Commissioner Tsao Chi-hung (曹啟鴻) yesterday said that “all cities and counties in southern Taiwan” oppose imports of beef and beef products from the US that contain residues of the leanness-enhancing feed additive ractopamine.
Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung counties — as well as Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung — are all governed by the Democratic Progressive Party.
At a press conference held in Pingtung, Tsao urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his administration not to make compromises over the beef issue under pressure from the US.
“Our opinions should be the backup support behind the government in its negotiations with the US,” he said.
At a separate setting, Lin Chiu-kuei (林秋桂), deputy director of the Republic of China Swine Association, said the nation’s largest hog raisers’ group was determined to keep Taiwan’s husbandry sector completely free from ractopamine.
“The association wants to maintain the status quo, meaning that no leanness enhancers should be allowed in Taiwan under any circumstances,” she said.
Taipei has been under pressure from the US to relax its zero-tolerance regulations on ractopamine since they were imposed in 2006.
Last year, after Taiwan blocked shipments of US beef containing ractopamine residue, the US extended a suspension of trade talks with Taiwan.
The new Cabinet, which was sworn in on Monday, said it would devote its first interministerial meeting — expected to be held either on Friday or Saturday — exclusively to the US beef import issue.