Survey finds 63% of Taiwanese oppose relaxing restrictions on US pork

Non-profit organizations question government’s ability to manage American pork imports

Pork stall in Taipei 

Pork stall in Taipei  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new survey has found that a majority Taiwanese do not support the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration’s move to allow the import of American pork over food safety concerns.

Commissioned by the Grassroots Influence Foundation (草根影響力文教基金會) and carried out by TVBS, the poll suggests that 63 percent of the Taiwanese surveyed oppose the policy to lift import restrictions on ractopamine-laced pork from the U.S., reported Liberty Times.

Around 67 percent of respondents said they believe food safety is worth more than diplomatic or economic gains, and 54 percent doubt the efficacy of a planned measure to mandate country of origin labeling for relevant products. The survey collected 1,070 valid samples and had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The health risk posed by ractopamine, a feed additive that promotes leanness in livestock, has been a bone of contention since President Tsai announced last month that the government was greenlighting American pork. The president of the Taiwan Association for Promoting Public Health, Liu Mei-chun (劉梅君), has questioned whether the government has adequate resources to conduct source control and manage safety issues associated with the meat products.

Facing some public backlash, the authorities have scrambled to assuage fears of ractopamine. In a flip-flop on labeling regulations, the Food and Drug Administration published a series of notices earlier this month stating that all pork products, fresh or processed, will be required to clearly display their country of origin starting Jan. 1, 2021.

Updated : 2020-12-04 08:09 GMT+08:00