Not all US pork contains ractopamine and just because pork contains the additive does not mean it is poisonous, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday.
Chen made the remark at the Legislative Yuan in response to requests for comment on the annual “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) labor protest march, which on Sunday focused on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine, from Jan. 1.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party joined in support.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The Consumers’ Foundation has also said that more than 140,000 people had signed its petition against allowing imports of pork containing the drug.
The rally’s organizers said that more than 50,000 people attended the march, although Chen said it was uncertain if that many people opposed ractopamine pork.
“In addition, the protesters were expressing their concerns on multiple issues, so we cannot say that all 50,000 people were against one certain policy,” he said. “Nonetheless, we will respect the expression of public opinion.”
“Just as most people understand that not all US beef contains ractopamine ... US pork does not mean pork containing ractopamine, and pork containing ractopamine is not equal to poisonous pork,” he added.
The government is responsible for ensuring food safety and would require country of origin labeling for meat imports, he said, adding that it would also respect people’s economic behaviors.
At a meeting of the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, KMT Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) said that pork containing ractopamine residue only makes up about 22 percent of the US’ total pork production, but if Taiwan plans to only request country of origin labeling on imported pork, it might cause Taiwanese consumers to reject all US pork.
Chen said that the government hopes that US authorities would understand that allowing imports of US pork containing ractopamine might not necessarily benefit US pork exports, as Taiwanese consumers might be suspicious of all US pork, including the nearly 80 percent without the additive.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was