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Consumers' Foundation blasts gov't drive to import U.S. beef parts

Consumers' Foundation blasts gov't drive to import U.S. beef parts

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) The Consumers' Foundation on Friday criticized the government for moves to allow imports of several kinds of U.S. beef parts by labeling them "not internal organs." The foundation said it found "very disturbing" the government's plan to allow in bone marrow, blood vessels, head meat, cheek meat, weasand and tallow from cattle under 30 months old from the United States and Canada. It pointed out that the Council of Agriculture said Jan. 30 that the United States is still affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, and according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), its status as an infected region will only be removed if there are no new cases in seven years. The Consumers' Foundation is worried that people consuming beef, milk and dairy made from infected beef will be at a higher risk of being infected with the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the fatal neurological disease that is believed to be caused by consuming BSE-infected cow products. It argued that while the government mulls opening those six beef parts categories, it should allow consumers to take part in policymaking. The concerns voiced by the foundation follow Economy Minister John Deng's (???) Tuesday comments during a visit to the United States that Taiwan is willing to allow in those beef parts to make it easier to join the U.S.-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc. Deng said that since the six categories are not internal organs, they are not banned by law. According to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, Taiwan bans the import of internal cow organs from countries that have reported cases of BSE over the past decade. Article 15 of the act states that Taiwan bans skulls, brains, eyes, spinal marrow, ground beef, viscera and other related products even from non-epidemic areas if those areas have had BSE or new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease cases in the past ten years. (By Yang Shu-min and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-19 02:10 GMT+08:00