The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday criticized what it said was the government’s “domineering” stance on the importation of pork products containing traces of the animal feed additive ractopamine.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Aug. 28 announced that the government would ease restrictions on imports of US pork containing the leanness-enhancing drug, as well as beef from cattle aged 30 months or older.
The policy is expected to take effect on Jan. 1.
“To ensure that US pork with leanness-enhancing agents can successfully come to Taiwan on Jan. 1, the entire Tsai administration is now blocking everything,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.
Tsai’s administration has blocked legislative proposals on food safety raised by opposition parties, as well as those put forward by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, Wang said.
“What is even worse is that it is even blocking local governments’ right of autonomy,” she said.
While several local governments have revised their food-safety ordinances to set a “zero detection” policy on ractopamine, as well as penalties, the central government sent a letter requesting that they amend those regulations, the KMT said in a statement.
The DPP administration is disregarding local autonomy and abusing its authority by “blocking the democratic value of a balance of power between the central and local [governments], and blocking the last line of defense in protecting public health,” it said.
Wang called the request “dictatorial.”
Tsai once said that she was “best at communicating,” but on the US pork import issue, the president “does not want to do any communicating,” Wang said.
The KMT would urge members of the public to join street protests against the administration’s “domineering” and “deceptive” ways, she said.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) on Wednesday announced that party members would join with representatives of other groups in protests on Nov. 22 to try to “block the incorrect policy.”
Meanwhile, KMT Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇), who is also deputy chairwoman of the KMT committee, yesterday called on Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) to apologize for saying on Wednesday that zero detection” policies would lead to two-thirds of steakhouses closing.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang
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