Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) told a press conference yesterday that seven out of 10 pork products tested were found to contain traces of salbutamol as well as cimaterol, adding that both are more toxic than ractopamine.The article goes on to say that all leanness enhancing chemicals are banned in Taiwan, and quotes a professor of veterinary science who said that salbutamol is far more dangerous than ractopamine. I-mei denied it had ever let its reports becomes public, and the supermarket chain whose products Tsai critiqued was also in full-blown denial. Thus this little back-atcha from the KMT at the island's pig farmers did some collateral damage to well-established local brands.
Tsai said that tests conducted by I-Mei Foods Co’s (義美食品) food safety lab, as shown in a paper dated March 7, revealed that traces of salbutamol and cimaterol were found in two sausage products from T-Ham (台畜) and Hsin Tung Yang (新東陽).
The paper showed that 9.16 parts per billion (ppb) of salbutamol and 4.98ppb of cimaterol were found in T-Ham’s sausage, while 0.68ppb of salbutamol and 2.98ppb of cimaterol in Hsin Tung Yang’s sausage.
The paper also showed tests on frozen backbone, ground pork meat, skin, pork belly, kidneys and liver, which Tsai said were bought at supermarkets, were found to contain salbutamol residues ranging from 0.22ppb to 0.37ppb.
Tsai said pig farmers favor using salbutamol over ractopamine as a leanness-enhancing feed additive for pigs because ractopamine is more expensive.
Tsai said he publicized the test results to highlight the problem of illegal use of leanness-enhancing feed additives and urged health authorities to intensify inspections of meat products to safeguard public health.
Pig farmers, who fear the entrance of American pork and pork products into the Taiwan market, have been vocal in opposing US beef on the principle of not letting the camel put his nose into the tent. They've been an important presence at local protests. It was inevitable that the KMT would point out what flaming hypocrisy it is for local pig farmers to complain about additives in imported meat, such an easy and obvious way to attack them.
That said, let's hope this leads to actual improvement in food inspection and not merely gaudy headlines about large fines given to a few scapegoats.
- Touring Taiwan by Motorcycle
- Taiwan's youth reject Beijing's overtures, prefer Japan
- ROC claims unwavering sovereignty over the South China Sea, just like Beijing. Is this wise policy?
- Defamation in Taiwan just gets weirder and weirder.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.