TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese food brands Hsin Tung Yang Co. and Black Bridge Food Co. on Friday (June 4) rejected allegations published in Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po newspaper that their pork products contained excessive levels of ractopamine.
The pro-Chinese publication alleged that Taiwan's safety standards for food are lax and that the leanness drug ractopamine had been found at illegally high levels in Taiwanese sausages and pork products imported into Hong Kong.
Taiwan legalized the import of pork from the United States containing ractopamine last year but does not allow the drug to be used by the local hog farming sector. In addition, ractopamine in imported pork products is subject to a reporting system, which so far has not found any traces of the drug in any U.S. meat, reports said.
In a statement on its website, Hsin Tung Yang said the newspaper report had damaged its reputation, adding that ractopamine inspection standards in Taiwan are the same as or even stricter than those in Hong Kong. The company also said that it only uses certified Taiwanese pork in its products.
Wen Wei Po printed the allegations even though it knew all Taiwan's pork products inspected by the Hong Kong authorities for the past three years, up until May 2021, had passed review and been approved for importation, Hsin Tung Yang said.
The company said it is consulting attorneys about taking legal action against the newspaper for damaging its reputation. A statement by Black Bridge echoed the remarks of the other company, emphasizing its products used Taiwan pork from licensed slaughterhouses and that they absolutely do not contain ractopamine.
Black Bridge said it regularly conducts tests on its own products, assuring the public that they do not contain ractopamine and are safe for consumption.