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Over 200 Taipei stores sign up to boycott U.S. beef offal

Over 200 Taipei stores sign up to boycott U.S. beef offal

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Over 200 stores and restaurants in Taipei City have signed up for an alliance to reject sales of U.S. beef offal, ground beef and spinal cords or their use as ingredients, over health concerns, a city government official said Tuesday.
Just a day after the Taipei City Office of Commerce initiated a plan to encourage the city's 15,000 restaurants, supermarket chains, hotels and department stores to form an alliance whose members will boycott the sale or use of U.S. beef offal, ground beef and spinal cords, more than 200 stores had already signed up, said Liu Chia-chun, director of the office.
Liu said his office will accept applications between Nov. 11 and Dec. 31 by these stores for an alliance badge they can display in their stores to indicate that they do not supply or use U.S. beef offal, ground beef or spinal cords.
If stores carrying the alliance badge are found to be selling or using these products, they will be stripped of their certificates and fined in accordance with the Consumers Protection Law, he said.
Stores and restaurants that do not join the alliance will be checked randomly and required to indicate on their packaging or menus the country of origin of their beef, he continued.
In related news, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin, who in a rare rebuke of the central government the day before in which he voiced outright opposition to the government's decision to allow imports of U.S. beef offal and ground beef, said Tuesday that his opposition was not politically motivated.
Hau said the city government's decision to boycott the protocol inked recently by the Department of Health (DOH) with the U.S. on opening Taiwan's doors wider to U.S. beef imports was made purely over health concerns.
The mayor said he fully understands the dilemma that the government was facing when it signed the protocol, but he agreed with a senior government official who said recently that "opening the market does not mean that the government will push sales." Hau said he supports the boycott drive simply because he is the mayor of Taipei and responsible for overseeing the health of city residents and based on professional knowledge that he learned as a student and professor of food science and nutrition.
The Cabinet-level DOH announced Oct. 23 that Taiwan would expand market access to U.S. beef after officials clinched an accord the previous day in Washington, D.C., to lift a partial ban on U.S. beef imports imposed after cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease were recorded there.
Under the terms of the new accord, U.S. bone-in beef, ground beef, intestines, brains, spinal cords and processed beef from cattle younger than 30 months that have not been contaminated with "specific risk materials" will be allowed to enter Taiwan starting Nov. 10.
At present, Taiwan only allows imports of U.S. boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months that contain no such risky materials.
(By Sun Cheng-wu and Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-08-05 18:55 GMT+08:00