Date: Apr 26, 2016
By: Chen Wei-han / Staff reporter
Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chih-ching (陳志清) yesterday reiterated the council’s opposition to imports of US pork containing the leanness-promoting additive ractopamine, following controversial remarks by agriculture minister-designate Tsao Chi-hung (曹啟鴻), who said US pork imports are an inevitable part of the nation’s push to join the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership.
In media interviews last week, Tsao said that there was nothing he could do to stop imports of US pork containing ractopamine, as Taiwan is a small economy that does not have the leverage to refuse imports of US pork in a globalized world.
The remark drew criticism across party lines, and the incoming Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has been accused of making secret deals with the US at the expense of the public’s health and the nation’s pig farming industry.
During a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Economics Committee scheduled to discuss a draft bill on food and agriculture education yesterday, Chen said he respected Tsao’s opinions, but the current administration would continue to adopt separate approaches to US beef and pork imports.
“The future government will decide future agriculture policies, and the council has left the regulations of ractopamine-containing pork to be addressed by the new administration. Taiwanese have different dietary habits from other Asian nations such as Japan and South Korea. Taiwanese consume seven times more pork than beef, and we like to eat intestines, which is why the government has insisted on handling US beef and pork imports separately,” Chen said. [FULL STORY]