Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday condemned the description of “toxic pork” and “deranged pork” by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians while campaigning against US meat imports in the run-up to a referendum.
“KMT politicians are on the one hand eating US beef and on the other hand insulting it,” DPP Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said during yesterday’s legislative caucus briefing. “The KMT is doing this on China’s behalf, to turn Taiwan against the US.”
Tsai cited KMT Chairman Eric Chu’s statements opposing the Jan. 1 policy change allowing imports of US pork containing traces of the leanness-enhancing additive.
Chu allegedly made comments about US “toxic pork” and “deranged pork” in Hoklo, also known as Taiwanese, when speaking on the KMT’s opposition to the import of US pork products.
Tsai said that the DPP administration adhered to the measures set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a global organization that sets food standards, by allowing 10 parts per billion of ractopamine in pork and beef products.
“This is an important worldwide standard followed by the UN and the WHO, which most countries adhere to, including member nations of Trade and Investment Framework Agreements and other international trading bodies that Taiwan is applying to join as a member,” Tsai said.
“Chu knows these facts, but he is leading KMT to distort the truth and malign US pork,” he added.
“When Eric Chu was campaigning to be KMT chairman, he said he stands for a US-friendly approach. Then he said that US pork is ‘toxic,’” DPP legislative caucus director Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) said.
“When Chu was the mayor of New Taipei City, he was not opposed to the rules [on US beef and pork imports]. This will have a boomerang effect and come back to strike the KMT,” Liu said.
Separately, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) in a social media post also criticized Chu’s comments.
Wang wrote that the KMT is being hypocritical, as former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had relaxed restrictions on US beef imports in 2012.
“I do not understand why the wealthy elites of the KMT are fighting against US pork and creating turmoil on this issue,” he wrote, adding that new guidelines have brought reciprocal benefits for Taiwan.
“We experienced a large increase in the export of Taiwanese agricultural products to the US,” he said.
Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) at the legislative caucus briefing criticized KMT lawmakers for demanding the resignation of Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) over last month’s fire at a residential building resulting in 46 deaths.
Lai said that the Kaohsiung City Government had provided assistance and relief to the victims, following up with pledges to increase inspections and conduct other follow-up work.
Lai and other DPP members said that Chu was the mayor of New Taipei City in 2015 at the time of a blaze at a water park that killed 15 people and injured 500 others.
They said that Chu did not resign and did not offer an apology for more than a year.
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