The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday proposed amendments to two laws that would require a mandatory 60-day notification before the government announces a new executive order, and that there should be zero traces of the feed additive ractopamine in the offal, brains and spinal cords of local or imported pork products.
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said that the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Council of Agriculture gave only a seven-day notice before announcing legal amendments to allow the imports of certain US pork and beef products.
The short notice completely undermines the spirit of the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法) and circumvents legislative oversight, leaving no time for stakeholders and the public to voice their opinion on the issue, the party said.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Beef from cattle older than 30 months and pork containing residues of the leanness-enhancing additive are to be allowed to enter Taiwan starting on Jan. 1 next year, after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Aug. 28 announced an executive order easing the nation’s import ban.
The NPP’s proposed changes would require a notification period of at least 60 days prior to the announcement of an executive order, allowing concerned parties to have time to hold public hearings or lectures to express their opinions, Chiu said.
Government agencies could also use the time to address public concerns by presenting evaluation reports before forwarding the new executive order to the Legislative Yuan for further review, he said.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The proposed amendment would allow for a shorter notice in exceptional cases, but on the condition that concrete reasons are provided, he added.
Although the NPP understands that deepening trade ties with the US is important, it believes that the process can be more democratic and should better suit the dietary habits of Taiwanese, NPP Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) said.
The NPP caucus would also propose an amendment to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) requiring zero traces of ractopamine in offal, brains and spinal cords of local or imported pork products.
The NPP made the appeal after the ministry on Sept. 5 announced that the maximum residue limits for pork containing ractopamine are 0.04 parts per million (ppm) for liver and kidneys, and 0.01ppm for all other parts of the animal.
The amendment would also specify locations banned from providing pork products containing ractopamine, including military camps, schools and social welfare groups, Wang said.
Besides labels showing the country of origin of a pork product, the government should also introduce clear labeling for pork products not containing ractopamine to better inform customers, NPP Legislator Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said, citing Canada as an example, which introduced such labels this year.
A public online platform should be established to record breaches of food safety regulations committed by companies, as part of efforts to bolster public supervision, she said.
In related news, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday demanded that Tsai and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) apologize for flip-flopping on the US pork issue, and that Tsai should properly explain her decision to lift the import ban.
During the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Tsai and Su strongly opposed the import of US pork containing ractopamine, describing it as “poisonous” and said it would severely harm the local hog farming industry, KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said.
Tsai and Su changing their minds now proves that they were wrong in making those accusations, he added.
Tsai should come to the Legislative Yuan and provide a full explanation on the matter, he said.
Additional reporting by Chen yun
White-label cellphones manufactured in a Chinese factory are believed to contain Trojan software that enables fraudsters to set up mobile game accounts using the owners’ phone numbers, police said on Saturday, with nearly 100 older people affected so far. After receiving a number of complaints from local branches over the past few months, the National Police Agency launched an investigation into the mobile game points-for-cash scam. The fraudsters would pose as women online to persuade people to buy game point cards at supermarkets and load the points into accounts created with the cellphone users’ phone numbers before requesting cash refunds from the
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered three more suspects in a feces attack on a Taipei restaurant to be held incommunicado over concerns that they might tamper with evidence, flee or renew their alleged attacks. The three suspects — two brothers surnamed Lee (李) and another man identified as Chiang (江) — were arrested on charges of vandalism, public insult, extortion and injury after the court held a detention hearing earlier in the day, court spokesperson Huang Pei-chen (黃珮禎) said. The court in a statement said that the three men said they had no rancor against anyone in the restaurant and that
DISCUSSION: The KMT chairman said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday and its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the party The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) hopes to highlight the “important connection” between the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan with its celebration of Retrocession Day on Sunday, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. In response to media queries in Taichung, Chiang said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday, and that its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the KMT over its party line. The KMT values ROC holidays, such as Double Ten National Day and Retrocession Day, he said, adding that since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, observation of the holidays has “weakened.” The