2020-11-16

Local Pork Legislation Conflicts with the National Pork Rule

According to the national rule announced under the authorization of  the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) on September 7, 2020, the maximum residue limits of veterinary drugs, such as ractopamine, in pork are stipulated by the central government‘s Ministry of Health and Welfare ("MHW"), with the tolerance of 0.01 ppm to 0.04 ppm, depending on different parts of the pig.  This national rule will be enforced from 1 January 2021.
 
However, several local governments, including those of Taipei, Taichung, Hsinchu, Taoyuan, Tainan, Jiayi, Yilan, Keelung, and Changhua, have announced respective local district regulations (i.e., self-governance ordinances for food safety management 食品衛生安全自治條例) stipulating a zero tolerance for ractopamine in pork.
 
Due to the contradiction between the national central government’s and district governments’ standards for maximum residue limits for ractopamine in pork, the central government has sent out an official notice to each local government requesting them to review their new legislations regarding tolerance for ractopamine in pork.
 
If the contradiction remains unresolved, it will affect citizens after enforcement of the central rule.  For example, local regulations with zero tolerance for ractopamine in pork would result in fines imposed on pork vendors selling products containing ractopamine, which vendors would then file lawsuits if they in fact followed the central government’s maximum residue limits.
 
The debate as to whether the local self-governance ordinances for food safety management with the zero tolerance levels for ractopamine in pork are valid is still ongoing. 
 
However, Article 30 of the Local Government Act (地方制度法), stipulates that “Self-government ordinances” shall be invalid if contradictory to the Constitution, laws, regulations promulgated in accordance with laws, or self-government ordinances of superior self-governing bodies, and as such, the above local regulations conflicting with the central government’s legislation might result in the local rules being deemed null and unenforceable.
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