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Tainan mayor criticized for his about-face on the ban of US pork products

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kuomintang (KMT) Tainan chapter chief Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) yesterday urged Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) to explain his apparent about-face over the ban on U.S. pork.

Lai is currently on a trip in the U.S.

According to media reports, Lai said in an interview that the U.S. has made lifting the ban a prerequisite for Taiwan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Lai also said that lifting the ban is something Taiwan needs to do, calling on the U.S. to give Taiwan time.

During the height of the ractopamine-enhanced U.S. beef controversy, Lai urged the Executive Yuan not to sacrifice the health of the people for political gains by allowing importers to bring in U.S. beef, and he repeatedly pledged to safeguard the health of Tainan residents, Hsieh said, highlighting the irony.

In Taiwan, Lai ingratiates himself with pig and cattle farmers, but when in Washington, he tries to please the Americans, Hsieh said.

Lai's stance on U.S. pork apparently depends on whether he is at home or abroad, Hsieh said, adding that Lai is only concerned about political gains.

In 2009, Lai, who was then a legislator, requested that KMT lawmakers maintain the ban on importing “poisonous beef” from the U.S., Kuomintang spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said on Thursday.

In 2012, Lai launched the policy of rejecting ractopamine-enhanced meat in Tainan and said that the U.S. needs to respect the people of Taiwan, Chen added, urging Lai to explain himself to pig farmers once he returns to Taiwan from the U.S.

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