Taiwan Approves U.S. Pork Imports with Ractopamine

Clint Thompson Exports/Imports, Pork

Taiwan’s parliament approved a measure that will allow U.S. pork imports containing ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing additive. Reuters says the approval came despite objections from KMT, the main opposition party, which says it creates a health risk for the Taiwanese people.


The country’s president decided in August that Taiwan would allow imports of U.S. pork with the additive, which is banned in the European Union and China, and that decision stirred up Taiwan politics. The KMT party has staged loud protests against the move, even throwing pig entrails in parliament last month to protest the approval. The government says no one in the country will be forced to eat the pork, and the move means Taiwan will bring its import policy in line with international norms. Major Taiwan companies are already saying they won’t sell pork made with ractopamine.

Taiwan officials are hopeful that easing barriers to U.S. pork imports will make it easier to establish a free trade deal with America. Pork is Taiwan’s protein of choice, with the average per capita consumption around 40 kilograms.  

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)