TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An online map indicating certified restaurants serving pork produced in Taiwan has been made available as the country grapples with undiminished public concern about the safety of ractopamine-laden pork.
Developed by Facebook user Chiang Ming-tsung (江明宗), the website offers information about eateries and stores that have acquired the government-issued “Taiwan Pork Label.” Details of the businesses include the name, address, an introduction, business hours, and label number.
The map covers 4,693 businesses across Taiwan as of Dec. 29, with the information being constantly updated, according to the developer. It is based on the open data released by the Council of Agriculture (COA), the authority governing agricultural affairs.
COA unveiled the Taiwan Pork Label in October last year, amidst the controversy of the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration’s decision to allow American pork imports containing ractopamine. The feed additive promotes leanness, but whether it poses health risks to humans remains a hotly debated issue.
The label is supposed to verify the origin of pork products for consumers who may have doubts about the imports. According to COA, around 7,000 labels had been issued as of Dec. 31, with inspections to be carried out by the National Animal Industry Foundation throughout January to bolster the origin credentials, wrote CNA.
The introduction of ractopamine pork, effective Jan. 1, remains a contentious issue as local governments find themselves at loggerheads with the central government, which some have framed as political maneuvering. Steps have been taken to outlaw the use of such products at local levels, while the COA has been in hot water for causing confusion over the Taiwan Pork Sticker and Taiwan Pork Label.