By: Luis Ko, Taiwan News
Everybody’s aim is to safeguard the public’s health, to take care of pig farmers, and to prevent trade disputes between Taiwan and the United States.
In fact, because Taiwan is small, its population is dense, environmental pollution problems are serious, there is no way like 10 to 20 years ago to raise 12 million pigs. A number like 6 million would be the maximum today.
Most countries are already importing pork in large quantities. What the dispute is about, is the import from the United States of pork containing residues of the leanness drug ractopamine.
The absolute priority is to preserve the income and profit margins of the Taiwanese pig farmers who raise a grand total of 6 million animals. If imports are liberalized, subsidies should be based on the average price over the past eight years, and each year there should be an average rise of 1.5 percent in order to have an effective ban on the domestic use of lean-meat drugs. The measure would protect the livelihood of the pig farmers, Taiwan’s agriculture and the environment.
The current dispute has been focused on the use of ractopamine, but it is not the only type of leanness-enhancing drug that is used, because the beta-agonists include more than 40 varieties. [FULL STORY]