Sun, Apr 06, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Council says it will not import US pork with ractopamine

JUST BEEF OK:While the nation imports US beef containing the lean-muscle-inducing drug, the council insisted it will not accept any levels in pork

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) yesterday reassured the public that the nation has no plans to allow pork imports containing ractopamine residue.

Chen was responding to local media queries about whether Taiwan would consider broadening its acceptance of US pork imports during the eighth round of bilateral US-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks in Washington.

As US beef with levels of ractopamine residue has been cleared for import, Chen yesterday reaffirmed that Taiwan’s policy “separates beef from pork.”

“We are not refusing US pork, but we will buy only US pork that contains no ractopamine residue. This is a stance that we strongly stand by, and the US knows this,” Chen said.

The nation only buys US pork certified as not containing ractopamine residues, Chen said, adding that the policy has a wide impact because the local pork industry is one of the nation’s biggest agricultural sectors with domestic pig farmers prohibiting the use of ractopamine.

He said the US profits more by exporting grain to Taiwan than from exporting pork, so it is unlikely that the US will ask Taiwan to open its market to ractopamine-laced pork.

As for the possible request from the US that Taiwan open up its market for beef offal and other beef parts such as skulls, eyes and intestines, the council said risk evaluations would be reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

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