News last update:6 Aug 2012

Taiwan needs to back-up its zero tolerence position on ractopamine

If the Codex Alimentarius Commission,  a United Nations- affiliated group,  amends its regulations on allowable levels of the leanness enhancing drug, ractopamine, in meat products, the Taiwanese government will seek the opinions of local experts before making a decision on the issue, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Wu-hsiung said at a legislative hearing.

"In theory, we should follow the international standard. If not, we'll need to show scientific evidence to back our decision, " Chen said.

If Taiwan has strong scientific data that proves even the international minimum permissible levels of ractopamine are harmful to human health, then it should maintain its zero standard for ractopamine residues in meat, Chen said.

In January, Taipei blocked some shipments of US beef after it was found that the meat contained residues of ractopamine, a leanness enhancing drug that is banned in meat products in Taiwan. The move was seen by the US as a violation of a beef protocol signed with Taiwan in 2009.

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