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Taiwan finds excess ractopamine level in US beef

Supermarket in Taichung reportedly bought the meat product from supplier in Taipei

Archived photo of U.S. beef at a supermarket 

Archived photo of U.S. beef at a supermarket  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Inspectors in Taichung City on Friday (April 16) found the maximum allowed level of ractopamine in beef from the United States on sale at a supermarket.

Following an end last January on a ban on the import of pork containing residues of the leanness drug, local authorities have been stepping up checks of meat products amid public unease about health risks.

A package of beef tendon bearing a Kansas City, Missouri, address registered 0.02 parts per million of ractopamine, double the official maximum limit of 0.01 ppm, the Liberty Times reported.

The city levied a fine of NT$120,000 (US$4,200) on the supermarket and passed the case on to Taipei City, where the meat product had been transported from. The capital’s health department said it had demanded the removal from shelves of similar products.

If the Taipei company had imported the ractopamine beef, it could face a fine ranging from NT$60,000 to NT$200 million, according to the Liberty Times.

The supermarket had reportedly ordered 199 kilograms of beef tendon from the same Taipei-based supplier.