Tue, May 01, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Lawmaker pans Cabinet amendment to food act

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Executive Yuan’s proposed amendment to the food safety law is “ridiculous” and may be questioned in the WTO, a lawmaker said yesterday.

The Cabinet’s proposed change to the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) to ease restrictions on the entry of US beef could be tantamount to the government shooting itself in the foot, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) told a press conference.

The text of the proposal shows plans to relax safety levels for ractopamine residues for both imported and domestic beef and pork, including offal, he said.

“That would violate the -Executive Yuan’s four-point policy, which pledges to differentiate safety standards for beef and pork products and to maintain the ban on imports of beef offal from the US,” Hsu said.

As to its proposed mandatory labeling of beef products, that could be listed by the WTO as a technical trade barrier, Hsu said, adding that the same measure adopted by South Korea against US beef had been ruled a violation by the WTO trade dispute settlement mechanism in 2001.

The former law professor also questioned the government’s claim that resolving the US beef import issue was key to resuming long-stalled negotiations over a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the US.

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