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More testing confirms banned additive in Taiwan pork

Two independent tests confirm cimbuterol found in samples from Taiwan Sugar pork

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Retesting confirms cimbuterol presence. (Food and Drug Administration image)

Retesting confirms cimbuterol presence. (Food and Drug Administration image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the discovery of the banned additive cimbiterol in pork slices from Taiwan Sugar, a retesting was simultaneously carried out by the Taichung City Government Health Bureau and the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Taichung City Government held a press conference on Wednesday morning (Feb. 7), revealing the results of the re-test of Taiwan Sugar’s domestically produced pork. Taichung City Health Bureau Director-General Tseng Tzu-chan (曾梓展) said the pork samples contained cibuterol at a concentration of 0.002 ppm, per Storm Media.

Similarly, the FDA also announced the results of testing on Taiwan Sugar pork today. It was found that the sample it was given had 0.001 ppm of cimbuterol.

Taiwan Sugar has commented that all of its pig farms in Taiwan have been recently inspected with pig hair and blood samples taken. These can track the use of illegal additives for seven months and when the batch of pork was produced.

Taiwan Sugar stated in its press release that its pig feed is uniformly formulated and prepared by a central kitchen, and no samples of cimbuterol have been detected, proving that it does not use this leanness-enhancing drug.

Additionally, Taiwan Sugar emphasized that pigs are typically raised communally, and if the feed contained the banned additive, then traces of it would be found in other meat products, including those at other farms.

Taiwan Sugar added that meat slices from the same slaughterhouse, which were slaughtered, cut, and packaged on the same day, were not found to contain cimbuterol or 21 other beta-receptor hormones. The company also took the initiative to send samples from the same batch of meat to the private SGS for inspection, and no additives were detected.

As for contamination from feed, Taiwan Sugar said the feed used at each of its pig farms is not individually purchased but only supplied by Taiwan Sugar's feed, and the feed is uniformly manufactured by the Animal Breeding Division.

Representatives from the Chiayi County Livestock Disease Control Center and the Chiayi County Agriculture Department visited the abovementioned division within Taiwan Sugar on Feb. 2–3 to collect feed samples for inspection by the National Animal Husbandry Foundation, with results indicating no trace of cimbuterol.

With Taiwan Sugar’s pork slices confirmed to contain cimbuterol, the incident marks the first time such a drug has been detected in the market over the past decade. Authorities are searching for an explanation of how this banned substance was able to enter the nation’s food supply.