Chemical-tainted goose meat found at three markets

ONE GUILTY PARTY::A New Taipei City farmer admitted having treated his birds with florfenicol under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 - Page 3

The Council of Agriculture (COA) said it would find the sources of three samples of chemical-tainted goose meat taken from markets in New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Taichung and Greater Tainan and conduct tighter food safety checks in future.

The announcement came following a report unveiled on Tuesday by the Department of Health that showed three out of 70 livestock products checked in August contained residues of florfenicol and thiamphenicol, drugs used to treat respiratory disease.

Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) said use of the drugs is restricted to livestock such as chickens and pork, but completely banned in waterfowl products. However, the amount found in the goose meat samples was only about 3 parts per billion (ppb), far lower than the tolerance level of 100 ppb allowed for livestock products, Chen said, adding that as a result the meat in question should pose no danger to health.

When questioned whether the same regulations should be applied to waterfowl products as to other livestock, the council said it would present a report on the issue after conducting toxicity tests and holding discussions with drug manufacturers in the next month.

Meanwhile, the Livestock Disease Control Center in Chiayi County said the sample found in New Taipei City was from a farm in that county.

The center said the farmer, who has about 1,000 geese, admitted to having treated the birds with florfenicol in mid-June under the supervision of a licensed vet.

The farmer sold the batch of geese 20 days after the end of the treatment, which was in compliance with the standard five-day rule, it said.

The center said it has fined the farm NT$30,000 and demanded that the farm produce test results before selling any more goose meat.