The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said it would not be satisfied with just a partial lifting of the ban. “USMEF is watching the government-to-government discussions and awaiting resolution of the issue. There are still many details that must be worked out. However, in our view, any solution that does not include pork is not a solution,” a spokesperson told GlobalMeatNews.
Taiwan’s cabinet yesterday announced its intention to lift the ractopamine ban on beef in order to facilitate trade with the US, but added that pork would still need to be free of the drug to enter the country.
In addition, ractopamine residues would have to be below a “safety level” set by the government, and offal would still be banned.
The announcement raised protests across the country, and producers, along with consumers, expressed concerns that the cabinet was neglecting public health. According to the Taipei Times, protesters in the Taiwanese capital threw pieces of raw beef on photographs of President Ma Ying-jeou dressed as Uncle Sam, with the words: “I want you to eat US beef” written on them.
Taiwan cabinet’s spokesman Philip Yang said that no final decision had been made, but that the government would not work behind closed doors. “There is no default position, no timetable and we have not made any commitment to the US,” he added. Yang said scientific experts would have the space to express their opinions and influence policy decisions, but that there was “no scientific evidence that the consumption of meat containing ractopamine additive was harmful to human beings”.
The US has been pushing for Taiwan to lift the ban on ractopamine, a controversial leanness-enhancing additive, in order to regain access to its ninth-largest single country destination for beef and pork.