Sat, Sep 08, 2012 - Page 3 News List

New regulations on labeling beef

SUBSTANTIAL MEASURES:The residue standard for ractopamine in animal feed has yet to be announced, as opinions of parties involved in the issue still differ

Staff writer, with CNA

Starting on Wednesday, beef products sold in markets or restaurants will be required to bear labels stating the country of origin, said the Department of Health (DOH) said in an official notice on Thursday.

Domestic and imported beef products sold at places such as supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, wet markets and night markets are required to bear labels detailing their country of origin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

Moreover, businesses should clearly separate beef products from other items, the FDA said, adding that restaurants or stands that sell products containing beef are also required to label the origin of the meat.

In addition, starting from Sept. 20, any packaged food containing beef, such as instant beef noodles and beef jerky, are required to clearly state the origin of the meat content.

Businesses that do not label the origin of beef products would face fines of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000, according to the department.

Fines of between NT$40,000 and NT$200,000 would be imposed on people or businesses who use false labels, it added.

The residue standard for ractopamine, which was supposed to be announced with the new regulations, is expected to be posted later as some businesses from Canada and Australia still hold different opinions on the issue, FDA section chief Tsai Shu-chen (蔡淑貞) said.

The new regulations follow the legislature’s approval of amendments to the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) in late July that opened Taiwan’s doors to imports of beef containing traces of ractopamine, a leanness enhancing drug used in animal feed.

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