Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ban on ractopamine pork still in effect, council says

EMPTY-HANDED:A US trade mission had hoped to lift a ban on imports of pork containing the drug, but was instead offered a deal for orchids and soy

Staff Writer, with CNA

A ban on the import of US pork containing ractopamine remains in place, despite a request this week by a trade mission from the US Department of Agriculture to lift the ban, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said on Thursday.

US pork containing the leanness-enhancing drug is not allowed into Taiwan, International Affairs Department Deputy Director Lin Chia-jung (林家榮) said, citing COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲).

The delegation led by Ken Isley, the department’s foreign agricultural service administrator, met with COA officials on Tuesday, when Isley expressed the hope that Taiwan would lift the ban, Lin said.

However, Chen categorically rejected the idea and said that Taiwan would not change its policy, Lin said.

However, “if the US raises such a request in talks regarding a bilateral free-trade agreement, the government would be willing to sit down and discuss the issue,” Lin quoted Chen as telling the delegation.

The minister instead suggested that the US purchase Taiwan’s orchids, while Taiwan buys soybeans from the US, he added.

The US wants Taiwan to adopt international norms and has been pressing Taiwan to remove the ban, Chen has said.

Last year, Taiwan imported NT$2.15 billion (US$69.56 million) of pork and processed pork products — including frozen pork, seasoned pork and canned pork — from Canada, making the country the top source of pork for Taiwan, COA statistics showed.

In second place was Spain, which exported NT$1.43 billion of pork and pork products to Taiwan, followed by Denmark with NT$1.09 billion and the US with NT$644 million, the statistics showed.

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