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Taiwan sees food safety as key in opening market to U.S. pork

Staff Writer |
Food safety and the rights of farmers will be major considerations in taking part in international trade deals.

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Taiwan said that in response to a U.S. report that urged the country to fully open its market to U.S. beef and pork.

The National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, issued Friday by the United States Trade Representative's (USTR) Office, said the U.S. will continue to urge Taiwan to open its market fully to U.S. beef and pork based on science, World Organization for Animal Health guidelines and the U.S.'s negligible risk status.

Taiwan has been resistant to allowing imports of U.S. beef and pork that contain traces of the leanness-enhancing veterinary drug ractopamine because of potential health hazards.

It relented on beef in 2012 after maximum residue limits for ractopamine in beef and pork were passed by a narrow margin by a United Nations food standards-setting body.

But Taiwan continues to ban ractopamine in pork, because of ongoing safety concerns about the drug and strong opposition from local hog farmers.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang said that in terms of food management, the government will conduct risk assessments based on scientific evidence and international regulations.

On bilateral trade negotiations, he said Taiwan would like to see communications and cooperation on trade between Taiwan and the United States continue.


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