In a letter sent to Obama administration trade officials, the National Pork Producers Council expressed its strong objection to re-opening Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) negotiations with Taiwan because of that country's continued failure to lift a ban on a widely approved dietary additive used in pork production.
The Taiwanese parliament recently voted to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports from cattle produced with Ractopamine but left the ban in place on pork produced with the same product.
Ractopamine is a dietary additive that improves the feed efficiency, growth rate and lean carcass percentage of live hogs and cattle. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and by the food-safety agencies in 24 countries.
Earlier this month, the U.N.'s Codex Alimentarius, which sets international standards for food products, approved a maximum residue limit (MRL) for Ractopamine, which U.S. pork meets.
"Failing to lift the ractopamine ban for pork was not an inadvertent omission," said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C. "It is nothing more than a ploy by the Taiwanese government to bring the United States back to the TIFA negotiating table.
"In Taiwan, pork production is much more important than beef, and pork producers have much more political clout," Hunt added. "This, and only this, explains the decision to lift the Ractopamine ban on beef but not on pork."
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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