Fri, Apr 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Hau Lung-bin promises vote on imports of food

Staff writer, with CNA

Former minister of health Yaung Chih-liang, left, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin, second left, KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko, center, and KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao, right, pose for a photograph at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who is running for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairperson, yesterday said he would submit a proposal to hold a national referendum on food safety if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration lifts a ban on the import of food products from five Japanese prefectures — Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi — due to a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in 2011.

The government is considering lifting the ban on food from all the prefectures except Fukushima, but has run into public opposition.

The KMT proposal has gathered more than 120,000 signatures, Hau told a news conference.

Moreover, if the DPP government were to open the market to pork containing the leanness-promoting additive ractopamine from the US, the KMT would mobilize the public to protest at customs offices, Hau said.

The Referendum Act (公民投票法) says that at least 0.5 percent of eligible voters in the previous presidential election must sign a petition to see a plebiscite authorized.

As there were 18.78 million eligible voters in last year’s election, Hau’s proposal would have to be signed by at least 93,900 people and approved by the Referendum Review Committee.

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