Taiwan will soon determine maximum residue levels for the leanness-enhancing feed additive ractopamine in imported beef with reference to international standards, ROC Premier Sean C. Chen said July 5.
He made the remarks following the adoption of global food safety standards for the drug at the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting running July 2-7 in Rome.
The CAC member states voted 69-67 to limit ractopamine residue to 10 parts per billion in beef and pork muscle and fat, 40 ppb in pig and cattle livers, and 90 ppb in pig and cattle kidneys. It was the fifth time the UN body considered setting a maximum residue limit for the substance.
“We will set our own MRL for beef imports according to the international standards, while pork imports containing ractopamine remain off limits, as do beef internal organs,” the premier said.
The outcome is expected to help lawmakers, in an extraordinary legislative session scheduled July 24-27, reach consensus on a controversial amendment to the Act Governing Food Sanitation allowing US beef imports containing the substance.
Kang Jaw-jou, director-general of the Food and Drug Administration under the Department of Health, said the CAC decision shows that, within limits, the leanness-enhancing drug is safe for consumption.
Lin Chun-hsien, spokesman for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, said the DPP will agree to the government’s decision to allow the import of US beef products with a maximum ractopamine residue of 10 ppb, in line with the CAC standards.
The EU, mainland China, Taiwan and Thailand are among the countries and regions that currently ban meat imports containing ractopamine.