Chiayi City bans leanness drugs in pork


Source: Taiwan News


By Matthew Strong
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2016-05-31 03:02 PM

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As protests raged around the Legislative Yuan in Taipei Tuesday, the Chiayi City Council banned pork containing residues of the leanness drug ractopamine, becoming the first local area to do so.Vague allegations surfaced over the past month that the new government of President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Lin Chuan would allow the import of pork from the United States containing the residues in return for membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.As Lin was to present his first official government report to the Legislature Tuesday morning, about a thousand protesters gathered outside and tried to storm the building. Inside, Kuomintang lawmakers tried to prevent Lin from mounting the stage.

In the meantime, city councilors in Chiayi approved a proposal to amend local food safety regulations in order to allow only the sale of pork showing a zero ractopamine level.

Producers and distributors would have to inform the authorities if they knew of the presence of ractopamine residues, or they would be fined, the new rules said. Sales points both at stores or online would have to inform the public and remove items from sale if lean-meat drugs were found. Within 24 hours, they would also have to report to the authorities, according to the new regulations.

The authors of the proposal said that it was better to have the measures in place before the central government opened up the imports of U.S. pork.

Reacting to Tuesday’s passage, Chiayi City Mayor Twu Shiing-jer, a former health minister, said the local health authorities would be strict in applying food safety rules.

While the motion was launched by KMT politicians, it also won the support of their Democratic Progressive Party colleagues, with 22 lending their name.