Taiwan does not intend to revisit its ban on animal drug Paylean, a key Taiwanese official said this week after imported U.S. meat was found to illegally contain traces of the drug, which promotes lean muscle growth.

pigfeed-featured.jpg“Taiwan’s existing law prohibits the use of any leanness drugs,” said Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung, adding that the law applies to imported and domestically produced meat.

The discovery of Paylean, also known as ractopamine, residue is the first time banned drugs have been detected in American beef since Taiwan reopened beef trade with the U.S. three years ago.

Focus Taiwan reported yesterday that relevant government agencies would meet soon to discuss the concerns over ractopamine residues in beef imported from the United States.

Hsu Tien-lai, director the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, said Council of Agriculture officials will meet with their counterparts from the Department of Health (DOH) to work out a “realistic solution to the issue.”

Paylean, the commercial name for ractopamine, is made by veterinary drug giant Elanco. The drug is used increase feed efficiency and improve leanness in the final days before slaughter. The U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Indonesia are among 26 countries that allow Paylean to be used in certain meat products. China, the European Union, Malaysia and over 100 other countries have banned the drug.