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Government to avoid severe impact from beef issue

Government to avoid severe impact from beef issue

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) The government will try hard to communicate with the United States regarding the recent legislature consensus on an import ban on certain beef products from the U.S. and "hopes the damage can be minimized and severe impact on Taiwan-U.S. relations avoided, " Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chi said Tuesday.
Replying to press inquiries after the legislative caucuses of the ruling Kuomintang and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party reached consensus that no ground beef or bovine offal from the U.S.
will be allowed to enter Taiwan, Wang said the Presidential Office respects the resolution of the legislature to revise the Act Governing Food Sanitation and appreciates that the Legislative Yuan will shoulder the responsibility for any consequences.
He added that the Presidential Office has continuously negotiated with the Legislative Yuan over the U.S. beef issue for two months, while successfully implementing its control measures of "three controls" and "five certifications" to make sure that no ground beef and offal enters the domestic market.
The measures are setting controls on beef imports at the source, at borders and in markets, while the five certifications refer to verifying certification documents, checking that shipments are marked with detailed product information, opening a high percentage of cartons of imported beef to check the product, conducting food safety tests and being able to get information on suspected problem products immediately.
Upon learning about the legislative decision, Thomas Hodges, spokesman and public affairs section chief of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) expressed disappointment and said Washington would make an announcement later in the day.
On Oct. 22, AIT made an announcement welcoming Taiwan's decision to lift a ban on U.S. bone-in beef from cattle younger than 30 months as agreed in a protocol inked in Washington earlier that day.
Meanwhile, Chang Chi-ping, Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy director-general of information, said the ministry would follow international guidelines on the matter, respecting the protocol on the one hand and taking into consideration the health of the public on the other.
(By Liu Shu-hua, Hsieh Chia-chen and Lillian Lin)




Updated : 2020-11-30 16:32 GMT+08:00