November 20, 2020


Taiwan's legislators should vote independently on importing pork with ractopamine, says activist organisation



The Civil Alliance Against Poisoned Pork said on November 16 that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, should let party legislators vote as they wish on the issue of importing pork containing ractopamine.


"(Council of Agriculture Minister) Chen Chi-chung is bringing ractopamine-laced pork into the nation without considering its effect on domestic pork prices, while insisting that it would not be competitive in the market," the organisation's spokesman, Lee Chien-cheng, said.


"Chen is not differentiating between the party and the state, or between right and wrong, only seeking to protect the party's will at the expense of the nation's livestock industry."


Former Taipei Veterans General Hospital physician Su Wei-shuo told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, that Chen has become a spokesman for ractopamine-fed pork after President Tsai announced on August 28 to ease restrictions on imports of US cattle that are more than 30 months old and US pork containing ractopamine, the leanness-enhancing additive.


Su said that, from a scientific and a democratic standpoint, the approval process constitutes dereliction of duty. Su called on the government to let go of its political machinations, and return to governing based on the law and the defense of citizens' right to health.


"Chen might not actually support the policy, in which case he should urge the Tsai administration to clean up its own mess," Su added.


"As public opinion is in favour of banning ractopamine-fed meat, Tsai should release her grip on the DPP and allow legislators to reflect the public's will by telling party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming to stop pressuring DPP lawmakers into supporting the policy.


"If this happens, the executive order might even be abolished, allowing the matter to proceed in a democratic and scientific fashion and a risk assessment to proceed in accordance with the law."


 - Taipei Times