A well-known chain of spicy hotpot restaurant in New Taipei City has hiked up its price for domestic pork as the government was scheduled to lift the ban on importing ractopamine pork from the U.S. starting from January 1. The newest version of the menu clearly states that if the customer wishes to order "domestically certified "pork, then he or she has to pay an additional NT$30 to NT$60.
We have been using imported pork and Taiwan domestic pork is an addition to the menu in order to offer more selections to the customers. The price of domestic pork is about NT$60 to NT$70 more expensive than the imported pork, which means our cost is higher.
The owner defended himself and stressed that the restaurant originally used imported pork from Spain and the U.K., but has added the option of "domestic pork" on Dec. 10 of last year. The addition was merely to offer the customers another selection of meat. The owner denied hiking up the price for domestic pork and further explained that all prices of original products have stayed the same. In fact, an announcement was posted on the wall inside the restaurant, stating that the domestic pork is a newly added item to the menu. After an inspection to the restaurant, the consumer protection officer in New Taipei City determined there was no price gouging.
It's actually not a price hike. The owner added domestic pork to the menu because consumers are concerned about imported pork might have contained ractopamine. Therefore, the owner decided to offer domestic pork as another choice.
The consumer protection officer said the reason the owner started to use the more expensive domestic pork was to reduce the consumers' concerns over ractopamine pork. Consumers still have the freedom and the right to choose which type of pork they would like to consume. At the same time, the owner has been requested to fully disclose related information.