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EU does not see scientific basis in ractopamine ban

TAIPEI--The European Union sees no scientific base to change its ban on ractopamine and introduce permissible levels of the livestock feed additive, the European trade office in Taipei said Wednesday, as Taiwan pays close attention to an international food standards meeting held in Italy to discuss the issue.

“We consider that there is no scientific base at this moment to set up an MRL (maximum residue limit),” said Frederic Laplanche, head of the European Economic and Trade Office, in an interview with local media.

Laplanche's remark came amid concerns that Taiwan, under pressure from the United States, is planning to lift the ban on imports of beef with ractopamine residues.

In March, he explained that the European Food Safety Authorities made a scientific assessment of ractopamine and reached a conclusion that there were too many uncertainties in the existing data.

Last month, local opposition lawmakers boycotted an amendment that would pave way for the imports of beef containing the leanness-enhancing drug.

While some legislators insisted on either retaining or lifting the ban, others proposed that Taiwan should wait for the result of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) meeting in Italy before taking the next step.

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