2020-09-21

Taiwan Prohibits Farmers From Using Ractopamine

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-Wen recently announced that Taiwan will begin to import U.S. pork containing Clenbuterol and Ractopamine from 1 January 2021.  The Executive Yuan's Council of Agriculture immediately announced an amendment to relax the regulations "banning β-receptor hormones (so-called "Clenbuterol") for animals", which has been a concern of citizens fearful that domestic pig farmers might be permitted to use Ractopamine.  In response to such concerns, the Council of Agriculture officially issued a clear statement after revising the provision.  It is now clear that all β-receptors are still prohibited from use in Taiwan, while the use of Ractopamine on cattle and pigs in foreign countries remains unregulated. I If domestic pig farmers are found to have used Ractopamine, they will be fined an amount from NT$ 60,000 to NT$ 300,000.
 
On 28 August 2020, the Council of Agriculture announced an amendment to the regulations, with the text, "allow cattle and pigs to consume Ractopamine additive medicated feed", leading to discussions and questions as to whether domestic farmers are permitted to use Ractopamine. The Council of Agriculture stated that due to misunderstandings caused by the original text and to ensure the competitiveness of Taiwan's meat industry, said new text was revised to read instead, "β-receptors are drugs prohibited from being manufactured, dispensed, imported, exported, sold, or displayed in Taiwan, while the use for cattle and pigs abroad hereof is excluded."
 
The Council of Agriculture emphasized that the policy of denying applications for the use of β-receptors in animals domestically has never changed.  If an illegal use of β-receptors is found in Taiwan, a penalty of more than NT$ 60,000 will be imposed pursuant to the "Veterinary Drugs Control Act". In addition, this Act enables the competent authority to publicize the name and address of the entity, name of the person in charge, and to give the specifics of the offense.
 
"Taiwan will implement mandatory labeling of the country of origin of meats in order to allow the public to have a clear choice when shopping.  In response to external doubts, I emphasize that the government is willing to communicate, review, and reflect on all the decisions and policies that we have made.  In the future, we will continue to do our best to meet the public's requirements for meat-related labeling," said Chen Shih-chung, the Minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
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