TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — For the first time in three years, beef from the United States containing excessive levels of ractopamine was found during a customs inspection, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday (June 8).
While the import of beef with residues of the leanness drug was legalized in 2012, a maximum limit of 0.01 parts per million was imposed. A batch of 1,179.8 kilos of U.S. meat labeled as “National frozen boneless beef” contained twice the upper limit, CNA reported.
None of the meat would be allowed to go on sale inside Taiwan, while the New Taipei City-based importer would face more frequent inspections of its beef from the U.S., according to an FDA official.
In addition to the meat products, inspectors also found excessive levels of cadmium in U.S. avocados bound for Costco supermarkets for the sixth time in six months. The 2,970 kg batch of the fruit, supplied by Index Fresh Inc., registered 0.07 milligrams per kg of the carcinogenic metal, above the legal maximum limit of 0.05 mg.
A response from Costco Taiwan said the findings might have been the result of external environmental factors at the place of origin, but the FDA warned the retailer a ban on its imports of U.S. avocados might be necessary if violations persisted.
The most recent list of 17 problematic imports also included Vietnamese green tea, Japanese strawberries, U.S. blueberries, and spices from China and India.