The government will shoulder the responsibility if there is anyone who falls ill because of food poisoning after eating U.S. beef containing traces of the livestock leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine, Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta said Monday, according to Focus Taiwan.
Chiu also said that the imports of U.S. beef containing ractopamine residues will be banned at once if there are consumers overseas or in Taiwan who are confirmed to have fallen sick from eating U.S. beef, even if the residues are within approved levels. The minister made the assurance after Legislator Hsu Yao-chang of the ruling Kuomintang, a caucus whip, said at a press conference that the caucus will bring up two resolutions concerning U.S. beef imports.
The first resolution will require that the government immediately stop U.S. beef imports if there are consumers overseas or in Taiwan confirmed to have fallen ill after eating U.S. beef containing ractopamine within the MRL level, the lawmaker said.
The other resolution stipulates that if there are local consumers affected by ractopamine-containing U.S. beef, the country must shoulder the full responsibility to look after the sick and assist them in seeking compensation.
In response, Chiu promised to follow the resolutions. Nevertheless, he stated that hundred of millions of people in more than 20 countries around the world, including Japan, South Korea and the United States, eat U.S. beef containing approved ractopamine residues. So far, no one has been reported to have developed symptoms of illnesses, he said.
Meanwhile, Food and Drug Administration Director-General Kang Jaw-jou reiterated that strict MRL standards will be established based on Taiwanese people's dietary habits.
Source: Focus Taiwan