Four out of five people are opposed to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policy of lifting the ban on the animal feed additive ractopamine, a survey conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) showed.
The opinion poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, found 80.9 percent of respondents said they did not support the policy, which would allow imported US beef products containing traces of ractopamine, the DPP told a press conference yesterday.
DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said 58.8 percent said they “definitely did not support” the policy, while 22.1 percent said they were “somewhat against” it.
“It seems to us that Taiwanese understand the situation very well, as most of them dislike the fact that Ma is trading public health for his own benefit — US support for his re-election campaign,” Lin said.
The survey showed that more than half of those polled had no confidence in the Ma administration’s handling of the issue, with 67.4 percent saying that they did not believe the president’s assertion that no scientific evidence proves that ractopamine adversely affects human health; 62.7 percent said they have no confidence in Ma’s ability to safeguard food safety; while 70.8 percent said they were not satisfied with the president’s handling of the issue.
The survey questioned 1,261 people and had a margin of error of 2.81 percent.
The DPP said that it takes the same view as the public, that health should take priority over the “so-called national interest” in trade relations, Lin said.
He added that the president had not explained what Taiwan’s diplomatic and trade gains would be for making the concession on public health.
The DPP said it supports a nationwide protest being organized by pig farmers and civic groups, which is scheduled to take place today.
In related news, the DPP’s legislative caucus reiterated that the party has a zero-tolerance policy on ractopamine and that it is opposed to relaxing the maximum residue level (MRL) for the drug to 10 parts per billion, which is reportedly the Department of Health’s planned MRL for ractopamine.
DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀), whose constituency is in Yilan County, urged Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-controlled local governments to follow the lead of Yilan County, which has said it would ban all imports of beef containing ractopamine residues from its jurisdiction.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung