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Taiwanese swine farmers still anxious about US imports
Publication Date : 06-03-2013
Swine farmers and local Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials in Taiwan said they would protest with “the most intense means possible” if restrictions are loosened on US pork.
In the run-up to talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), the Cabinet has repeatedly declared that Taiwan's ban on US pork containing ractopamine will stay in place.
Earlier this week, Foreign Minister David Lin said that the US “fully understands (Taiwan's) position” and that US pork imports will not be an issue in the upcoming round of TIFA talks.
But some in the swine industry and pan-green officials continue to be anxious and voiced their concerns yesterday in Yunlin County.
“Do not hurt the 23 million people of Taiwan. Do not extinguish the traditional hog industry of Taiwan. If the government sells out its own people, then the people will protest intensely on the streets,” said Kang Fu-hu, a representative from the local swine industry.
If the central government backs down on pork during TIFA talks, the DPP will respond with a protest that uses the “most intense means possible,” said Lin Yuan-chuan, head of the DPP's Yunlin chapter.
Lin was presiding at a press event titled “US pork is knocking at the door, Taiwan must hold firm: If US pork comes in the door, the president must step down.”
Taiwan must maintain a hard-line attitude against pork, said DPP Legislator Liu Chien-kuo.
Less than one year ago, the Legislative Yuan amended food safety laws under pressure from the US beef lobby. To buckle again would tarnish the name of the Legislative Yuan, said Liu.