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Lawmakers protest Taiwan's ban on U.S. beef

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) have sent a bipartisan letter to Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou regarding recent efforts to restrict U.S. beef exports to Taiwan.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

The senators wrote, in part: “This past January, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration began rejecting shipments of U.S. beef based on trace amounts of ractopamine, a feed additive. In addition, Taiwanese officials then pulled related products from grocery shelves. These actions created an unnecessarily volatile trading environment for U.S. exporters. U.S. exporters are reluctant to ship product to Taiwan given the uncertainty presented by the amplified testing regime.

“The use of ractopamine is well recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe. In addition, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), which is jointly administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), recommended the adoption of maximum residue levels (MRL) for the use of ractopamine in beef and pork. Taiwan’s current zero-tolerance policy lacks scientific standing and is out of step with the recommended JECFA standards. Further, the zero-tolerance policy is inconsistent with Taiwan’s own risk assessment in 2007, which found that ractopamine was safe for use.

“We appreciate your commitment to finding a solution to the unfair restrictions and are pleased to hear that a minister without portfolio was appointed to lead a high-level task force to address this issue.”

Source: Sen. Thad Cochran

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  1. For the last three weeks U.S. Government has failed especially in California, to disclose the amount of Japanese radio active fallout in recent CA rain water; believed by some in northern CA to be 181 times normal. It is not surprising other countries like (Taiwan) would not trust U.S. Government to determine whether a U.S. food product is safe. Americans might soon be concerned whether U.S. cows and sheep are eating radioactive contaminated grass affecting milk and meat and animal feed, affecting e.g. poultry . It may be the U.S. that will have to import beef if Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors are not buried.

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