Tue, Apr 03, 2012 - Page 3 News List

DPP should foster consensus on US beef issue: KMT

CONTRADICTION:The KMT said the former DPP administration supported lifting a ban on imports of meat with residue of leanness-enhancing drugs

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) does not have a consensus on US beef imports and should review all aspects of the issue rather than proceed based on political calculations, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said on Sunday.

Several civic groups staged an “anti-ractopamine march” in Taipei on Sunday to voice opposition to the import of meat products containing leanness--enhancing additives.

On the previous day, the DPP urged party members to join the protest, while demanding that the KMT refrain from lifting a ban on imports of US beef containing ractopamine residue “to facilitate trade relations with other countries.”

In response, KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said in a press release that the former DPP administration was also in favor of importing meat products containing ractopamine residue, and not only of US beef.

“Judging from the DPP’s stance on the matter, its party members should have participated in the protest marches held in August 2007 to voice their objections, so why did they remain silent at the time?” Yin asked.

“The DPP is deliberately trying to make the US beef issue a matter of public health,” Yin said.

“The Executive Yuan has pledged to take all factors, including public heath, national credibility and Taiwan’s trading interests, into consideration in its handling of US beef imports, based on its four-point policy position of ‘establishing a safe level of ractopamine in beef, differentiating safety standards for beef and pork imports, demanding mandatory labeling for beef imports and excluding imports of internal organs,’” Yin said.

Commenting on a proposal by the DPP that Taiwan should model its standards after those of the EU with regards to US beef imports, Yin said that given the lack of conclusive scientific evidence, demanding tighter import restrictions for US beef could be a violation of WTO rules.

The KMT spokesman added that the DPP’s so-called “EU model” should be assessed to ascertain whether it is a responsible approach.

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