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The COA Declares Its Firm Stance on Safeguarding Pig Farmers' Interests and Its Dedication to Elevating Domestic Beef Self-sufficiency Ratio
In response to the concern raised by pig farming groups about US pork containing ractopamine and the groups’ appeal to the Parliament on May 31, the Council of Agriculture (COA) reemphasized its resolution to safeguard the rights and interests of Taiwanese pig farmers. The COA also actively promotes the upgrading of pig farming industry and enhances Taiwan’s pork export by achieving FMD (foot-and-mouth disease) free status. At the same time, in order to uphold consumer's food safety, the COA will continue to ban the use of ractopamine for producing domestic pork meat.
Moreover, since the previous administration lifted the ban on the import of US beef containing ractopamine in July 2012, and subsequently amended the regulation to lift the ban on use of β-agonist (be known as lean-meat agent) as medicated feed additives for cattle; nevertheless, so far there is no application for the use on domestic cattle. The newly-elected government insisted on the prohibition of lean-meat agents on domestic produced beef. The COA would further promote policies such as the integration of domestic beef cattle husbandry with grain crop rehabilitation and traceable agricultural products (TAP) so that the general public may enjoy safe and fresh quality domestic beef while Taiwan’s food self-sufficiency ratio increased.
The COA stated that among its various policies, there was never one that discussed about lifting the ban on US pork containing ractopamine. On the contrary, facing the competition from Canadian, Spanish, and Danish pork, the Council puts increasing the industry’s competitiveness and domestic pork quality as its administrative emphasis. In addition to promoting the so called “green pork” which is produced through the utilization of electricity generated by biogas and solar power, the COA also strictly requests farmers to carry out pig vaccination against FMD and increase the pig rearing rate.
Moreover, the issue of US ractopamine pork involved several government bodies such as the COA, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Health and Welfare among others. This issue would not be further addressed without a thorough risk assessment with solid scientific evidence. The risk assessment report in question would involve complex scientific methodology concerning different expertise such as livestock production and food safety, which required high-level technological integration and inter-ministerial cooperation. Such task could not be achieved by the effort of one single ministry or academic discipline. Therefore, the COA still insists its position towards the ban on US pork containing ractopamine in this stage.