The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) caucus yesterday urged the government to withdraw two administrative orders concerning lifting a ban on US pork containing ractopamine and US beef from cattle aged 30 months or older, and also launched an online petition for stricter food safety regulations.
As the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus once again blocked Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) from presenting a report by occupying the speaker’s podium and urging Su to apologize for the government’s policies on US pork and beef, TPP lawmakers held a news conference outside the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber.
TPP Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) said that the party condemns the KMT’s actions, as it has questions for Su, including over labeling of US pork containing ractopamine and transportation projects to connect Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung.
The TPP hopes that the opposition parties would have a chance to directly question Su at the podium, Chiu said.
TPP caucus whip Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that a joint meeting of five legislative committees would be held today to review nine administrative orders regarding US pork and beef imports, at which the party would ask the Ministry of Health and Welfare to withdraw two of them.
The two orders set maximum residue limits for ractopamine in US pork and lifted a ban on US beef from cattle aged 30 months or older, Lai said.
Allowing the import of US pork containing ractopamine is only one of the bargaining chips for trade negotiations between Taiwan and the US, so the government should not trade people’s health for no progress in trade talks, she said, adding that it would be against the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) own efforts to amend laws to boycott US pork.
TPP Legislator Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that when amending the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) in 2012, DPP lawmakers had made great efforts to ensure that administrative orders must be approved by the Legislative Yuan before taking effect.
In related news, the TPP on Monday launched a petition on the government’s Policy Network Participation Platform (公共政策網路參與平台), demanding that products made with US pork containing ractopamine must be labeled as such, stricter source management by designating specialized import commodity codes for US pork containing ractopamine, and that reprocessed food made with US pork containing ractopamine also be labeled.
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