Taiwan will bar imports of cattle organs and ground beef from the US until 2022, a veterinary expert said, citing a domestic food sanitation law.
Article 11 of the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) prohibits the import of organs or ground meat from places that have had cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, within the past 10 years, Animal Technology Institute Taiwan head Yang Ping-cheng (楊平政) said.
He made the remarks following a final US report confirming that no products from the carcass of a dairy cow infected with mad cow disease in April had entered the human food chain.
On April 24, the carcass of a dairy cow in California was confirmed to have BSE by the US Department of Agriculture.
Moreover, according to a US Department of Agriculture final report, released a day earlier as required by the World Organization for Animal Health, the infection was atypical BSE — one that did not result from infected cattle feed — and was an isolated case.
In compliance with a bilateral agreement on beef trade, the US is obliged to inform Taiwan of the final results of an investigation into mad cow disease.
BSE is fatal to cows and eating infected meat can cause a fatal brain disease in humans known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It was the fourth BSE case in the US since 2003.
The Legislature passed amendments to the food safety act last week relaxing restrictions on imports of meat with residues of the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine, opening the way for imports of US beef with the feed additive.