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KMT lawmakers still at odds over beef, pork imports

By Camaron Kao--Kuomintang (KMT) legislators were still at odds over how to separate beef and pork in the Act Governing Food Sanitation yesterday. The president scheduled two meetings on July 19 and 20 to talk to KMT legislators, aiming to build a consensus before July 24, when an early meeting will be held before the interim meeting of the Legislative Yuan.

During the meeting between the Executive Yuan and KMT members, the president decided to change the zero-tolerance policy via administrative orders, while amendments to the regulation of obligatory labeling the principle of separation of beef and pork will be put into law via supplementary resolution.

KMT Legislator Yang Li-huan (楊麗環), however, expressed her suspicion that after the residue of ractopamine is permitted in beef it will be difficult for the government to withstand the pressure to allow the same growth-drug residue in pork.

Other KMT legislators stated that since the zero-tolerance policy can be altered by administrative orders, the Executive Yuan should use the same measure to implement the principle of separation of beef and pork instead of stipulating the principle in law.

KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) stated yesterday that the KMT will continue negotiating with its legislators in terms of whether to stipulate the principle of the separation of beef and pork in law.

Opposition parties, however, demanded that the separation of beef and pork must be put into law.

According to Lin, in the interim meeting, the KMT plans to solve issues such as U.S. beef imports, the stock gains tax and the appointment of members of the National Communications Commission (NCC).

KMT Issues Note Criticizing DPP

The KMT issued a note on July 12 criticizing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of being inconsistent in the U.S. beef import issue and urging the DPP not to boycott the amendment of the Act Governing Food Sanitation.

Outlining the history of U.S. beef imports, the note stated that when the DPP was the incumbent party the government allowed U.S. beef imports. Although the import was interrupted by cases of mad cow disease, the DPP government never shot down the import completely.

The note further criticized the DPP for only inspecting pork imports and never beef imports when the government was run by the current opposition party.

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