Battle over beef

The Executive Yuan of Taiwan expressed regret over the Legislative Yuan’s failure to amend the Act Governing Food Sanitation to allow ractopamine-enhanced U.S. beef imports during the legislative session which ended June 15. It also expressed hope the Legislature will convene a provisional session soon to pass the amendment as well as approve a proposed capital gains tax on stock earnings and commissioner nominees for the National Communications Commission (NCC).

The Executive Yuan stated that on February 24, legislative caucuses of various parties agreed to make amending food safety regulations to allow the import of meat with a safe residue level of the leanness-enhancing feed additive ractopamine their top priority. At the same time, it was also agreed that the Executive Yuan would not consider issuing an executive order to allow imports ofU.S.beef with traces of ractopamine prior to the passage of the legislation.

In response, the Executive Yuan submitted a draft amendment to the legislature for deliberation, fully explained the intent of the bill and reiterated its determination to assure food safety. An opposition filibuster has prevented the scheduled revision to the law, however.

Out of respect for the Legislature, the Executive Yuan reiterated that the beef issue should be resolved through due legislative process. Premier Sean Chen also expressed his gratitude to Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng for his efforts in cross-party negotiations and expressed conviction that Wang could lead the Legislature to pass the food safety bill, the capital gains tax bill and the NCC nominations in the extra session.

The Executive Yuan maintains that theU.S.beef import issue must be resolved through due legislative process, Executive Yuan Spokesman Hu Yu-wei said on behalf of Premier Sean Chen June 18.

“On February 24, legislative caucuses of various parties agreed that the Executive Yuan would not consider issuing an executive order to allow imports of U.S. beef with traces of ractopamine prior to the passage of a revised Act Governing Food Sanitation. Out of respect for the Legislature, the Executive Yuan considers this agreement valid and will abide by it,” Hu said.

“Furthermore, to mandate the labeling of unpackaged beef’s country of origin, legislation is required,” he continued. This labeling system is another component of the government’s beef import proposal. Current regulations do not require products made with unpackaged beef—such as hamburgers and beef noodles sold in restaurants—to be labeled, Hu noted. If the mandatory labeling system were incorporated into the Act Governing Food Sanitation, all businesses selling products made with unpackaged beef would be required to identify their meat’s origin.

For these reasons, the Executive Yuan insists that the food act be amended in a provisional legislative session.

Source: http://www.ey.gov.tw/en/News_Content2.aspx?n=1C6028CA080A27B3&sms=E0588283EFAA02AD&s=B4324E5C36902325; http://www.ey.gov.tw/en/News_Content2.aspx?n=1C6028CA080A27B3&sms=E0588283EFAA02AD&s=8EF95F4540412A7A

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