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News 603 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Taiwan not obliged to review ractopamine ban

There is currently no need for Taiwan to revise its ban against a residue of ractopamine being used as drug to promote leanness in farm animals, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung has said.

The authorities in Taiwan recently detected small amounts of residue from a banned muscle-growth drug in beef imported from the United States.
 
The discovery raised public concerns on the island despite the US not restricting the use of the drug, commercially known as Paylean.
 
Four drugs blacklisted
Paylean contains ractopamine, one of four animal-use drugs along with salbutamol, terbu-taline and clenbuterol, which are blacklisted in Taiwan.
 
It was the first time banned drugs had been detected in US beef since Taiwan re-opened its doors to American beef in 2007, after suspending imports of the product over mad-cow disease worries.
 
"Taiwan's existing law prohibits the use of any leanness drugs," Chen said, noting that the law applies to both imported and locally-produced meat products.
 
Codex Alimentarius
Speaking of the plan by the United Nations-linked group - Codex Alimentarius Commission - to amend its regulations on the permitted amount of leanness drug residue on meat products, the minister said Taiwan will not review its leanness drug ban until Codex makes changes.
 
According to Chen, under WTO regulations, all its members must follow Codex guidelines. Those unwilling to follow them have to present a risk evaluation and convince other countries to accept it.
 
Ban on leanness drugs
Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang repeated his office's insistence of keeping its ban against the use of leanness drugs.
 
He said his office will try to coordinate with the United States, asking the latter not to sell beef containing the residue of leanness drugs to Taiwan.
 
 

Dick Ziggers

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