The Taiwanese opposition is not impressed by the Codex Alimentarius commission's decision to adopt an acceptable daily intake and maximum residue levels for pork and beef.
The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) urged the government Friday to maintain the ban on ractopamine in pork imports even if it decides to allow residues of the drug in imported beef products.
Taiwanese consumers buy about ten times more pork than beef each year, which warrants the attention of the health authorities, DPP legislator Tien Chiu-chin stated.
"The government should mandate by law a ban on ractopamine in imports of pork and internal organs, even if it opts to follow a decision made by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to allow certain levels of the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine in beef,” Tien said.
Before the Codex decision, civic groups and opposition lawmakers were strongly opposed to lifting Taiwan's ban on imports of beef containing ractopamine residues. Since the Codex vote, a softening of that stance with regard to beef has become apparent.
DPP lawmaker Chen Ting-fei said a law should be instituted to allow separate permits for the importation of beef and pork.
A government official stated that the Codex vote will not change Taiwan's policy to conditionally lift the ban on US beef imports with the additive.
Member states of the global food safety body voted 69-67 earlier in the day that it is safe to allow certain levels of ractopamine in cattle and pork tissues, including muscle, liver and kidney.
The result of the Codex meeting ‘will only be used as reference’, cabinet spokesman Hu Yu-wei said. It will not influence the government's decision to conditionally ease the ban on American beef imports, he added.
• Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
• Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
• World Health Organization (WHO)