TAIPEI - The swine industry and the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Wednesday protested against the representation of Washington on the island due to possible opening to United States' imports of ractopamine-containing pork.
Taiwan Swine Association Secretary-General Chang Sheng-chin said today at the beginning of the protests that imports of US pork with ractopamine not only negatively affects the market but also the health of the Taiwanese.
The U.S., Denmark, which along with Canada are the top three pork exporters to Taiwan, export meat with and without traces of ractopamine and Taiwan should continue to demand that they only send ractopamine-free pork, Chang said.
If the government lifts the ban on imports of ractopamine-containing pork, pig farmers will organize a large-scale protest, said Chang.
"It is a matter of national food security," pig farmer Kuo Chia-yu told Efe.
Taiwan's Council of Agriculture minister-designate Tsao Chi-hung said in an interview last Thursday that Taiwan, who needed Washington's support to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), cannot close its doors to the pork containing ractopamine forever.
Japan and South Korea allow imports of U.S. pork with traces of ractopamine and Taiwan, as an exporter, "cannot afford" not to open its doors, Tsao said Friday, according to the newspaper 'Lienhe Bao'.
Washington has hinted that Taiwan's acceptance of the import of U.S. ractopamine-containing pork is a precondition for bilateral negotiations on trade liberalization and for the inclusion of Taiwan in the TPP.
The Cabinet spokesperson-designate Tung Chen-yuan said that the stance of the elected president Tsai Ing-wen is giving priority to ensure food security and mitigate the negative impact on the local pork industry.
Taiwan also seeks to internationalize their food safety criteria and studies the adoption of the International Food Code, which allows the use of ractopamine in small amounts, Tung added.
The Kuomintang Party, which has ruled the island since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1950, and will step down on May 20, has taken this as one of its main points to attack Democratic Progressive Party.