Taiwan Has to Accept US Meat to Have Place In World: Chen|美豬牛進口 陳時中:接軌國際 爭取談判地位

President Tsai Ing-wen recently announced she is lifting the import ban on American pork and beef containing ractopamine and this has sparked food safety concerns in Taiwan. Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung admitted that the ministry had been notified of the decision but Taiwan has to "connect" with the international community in order to negotiate for a position in the community. Asked about public speculation that US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar's recent visit to Taiwan was to pave the way for the lifting of the ban, Chen reasserted that he only found out the ban was being lifted after Azar's visit.

Ractopamine is an animal leanness-enhancing agent banned in most countries, but Taiwan has lifted its ban on all US pork and US beef from cows older than 30 months containing the drug starting 2021. In response to the public outcry, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung guaranteed there would be no safety issues "as long as the meat is properly consumed."

I guarantee there are no safety issues with US pork as long as it is properly consumed.

As for concerns about mad cow disease in the US, Chen said the risk is very low since the last outbreak was so long ago. Asked what Taiwan got in exchange for lifting the import ban, Chen said health cannot be exchanged and Taiwan must "connect" with the international community in order to have a place in the community.

This was previously agreed upon. We cannot move forward if we don't have international recognition.

Many municipalities have already said they will not accept meat containing Ractopamine. Chen says it is the central government's right to enforce a uniform food safety policy and local governments should respect that. At the same time, meat products will be clearly labeled so consumers can make their own choice.

We will establish some local demonstration areas and rely on everyone's experience to let everyone understand that this kind of label -- if everyone can understand the label and if they can avoid (meat containing ractopamine), so that we can respect everyone's right to decide for themselves.

Chen also said allowable limit evaluations for Ractopamine were already conducted on US beef in the past and a similar evaluation will be conducted for US pork. US pork currently accounts for 10 percent of the domestic market. While pork offal imports are allowed, it does not sell so there is currently no import market. Asked when he was informed the ban had been lifted, Chen would only say he did not have any discussions about pork or beef with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar during Azar's recent visit to Taiwan.


衛福部長 陳時中表示:「掛保證,開放美豬的適當的食用,絕對安全。」


衛福部長 陳時中表示:「這是以前在議定書裡面,就已經答應的事情,若一個國家的履約的能力,都沒有辦法被國際認同,其實我們是寸步難行。」


衛福部長 陳時中表示:「選定一些地方,做一些示範,也吸取大家的經驗。讓民眾了解說,這樣子標示,大家夠不夠?這樣看得了解嗎?是不是能夠避開,能夠尊重大家的選擇權。」

陳時中強調,過去美牛已做過容許量評估,現在是要評估美豬的萊克多巴胺容許量,目前美豬進口量占國內市場一成,豬內臟也可以進口,但沒有人買,目前也沒有進口。至於陳時中何時知道? 陳時中只重申,美國衛生部長阿札爾訪台時,跟他並沒有聊到開放美豬美牛等議題。