The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday said a third advisory panel meeting on the safety of meat with lean-meat additives would be held soon and include medical and food safety experts. A public hearing and an international conference are scheduled later in the year.
“In order to protect public health, the Executive Yuan cannot allow the import of meat with ractopamine residue before the legislative yuan amends the necessary laws” and the legislature “will deal with the handling of ractopamine in the Food Sanitation Management Act (食品衛生管理法) as a priority,” the council said, adding that it would respect the decision reached at the legislature on Friday.
In accordance with the original schedule, a third food and medicine safety advisory panel would meet soon, the council said. A later public hearing would invite further contributions.
The council also plans to organize an international conference in April or May with the Department of Health to collect more information from overseas and local experts.
“The government does not have a fixed position or set schedule on the issue of ractopamine,” the council said, adding that it had already made contact with the Homemakers’ Union and Foundation, the Consumers’ Foundation and other civic groups, asking them to recommend one or two experts to attend the meeting.
The council also said that Lin Chieh-liang (林杰樑), a toxicologist at Linkuo Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chan Chang-chuan (詹長權), a professor at National Taiwan University’s Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, and Chou Chin-cheng (周晉澄), dean and chairman of the Institute of Veterinary Clinical Science at National Taiwan University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, had been invited to attend.
Lin and Chen, who have publicly expressed concern over meat with lean-meat additives, were not invited to the second panel meeting last Tuesday, and Chou walked out of the meeting after his request that the transcripts of the meeting be made public was rejected.