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.

  • J. Lee

    I don’t understand what’s the “realistic solution to the issue” means, they have their laws and we have to abide by it. Just like any other countries that want to export their product to the US, they too have to follow the US’ restrictions. It saddens me when we try to interfere with other nations’ policies because some lobyists (in this case pharmacy) in Washington are trying to push more sales.

  • mark

    Lets be honest here, this has nothing to do with food safety. It is protectionist to the hilt. The beef issue in Taiwan is about domestic Taiwanese politics. It is an easy proxy to be anti-american….

  • I agree with Mark, this is not about safety. See this article http://www.88kbbq.com/en/blog/2011/04/20/taiwans-beef-with-ractopamine/ to learn what ractopamine really is and the issues surrounding the ban. In short, it’s politics. But the reality is that Taiwanese people don’t understand, or even care to understand, what this drug does for the industry, and they are happy to pay more for meat without additives. The only pressure to lift the ban is coming from abroad, and since elections are coming, no politician wants to be seen bowing to foreign pressure. After the election, and after CAC approves a global standard, Taiwan’s ban will remain in effect.

  • Wan-Hua

    I am surprised how people are so naive to the safety issues raised by Paylean, reactpamine, and other drugs which approved by FDA. If this is truly a safe drug, there won’t be 160 countries ban it. Only less than 30 countries allow drug of this kind. Please respect Taiwanese’s choice when they choose not to allow it for profit.They might care more of the health issues than making profit which will stain their ethical responsibilities.To put it as only affected by politics is to simplify the matter.