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Protests Against US Beef Continues

04 November 2009

TAIWAN - The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have successfully pushed through a demand to revise existing regulations for a direct ban on certain beef products.

They also won consent from lawmakers to temporarily prohibit imports of these products from regions affected by mad cow disease before the legislative revision process is completed reports The China Post.

Coordinated by DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP lawmakers surrounded the seats of Legislative Yuan speaker and deputies from early morning to paralyse the meeting by voicing their opposition to the import of US ground beef and internal organs.

They demanded an amendment to the Food Hygiene Administration Law to include the skulls, brains, eyes, trigemial ganglions, spines, spinal ganglions, spinal marrow, and internal organs of cattle, ground beef and related products from areas possibly infected with mad cow disease into the category of foods that are banned from manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, delivery, import/export, selling, and public display or to be used as giveaways in Taiwan.

The DPP legislators also demanded a temporary ban on the importation of these products lawmakers before completing the law-revision procedure.

The standoff forced the legislative caucus of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) to accept the DPP demands that afternoon.

By the resolutions, the DPP proposal will directly come to the second reading by the lawmakers.

KMT legislators said they will submit their own version of draft revision and continue coordinating with DPP colleagues.

But they stressed the amendment legislation must be wrapped up before 17 November.

DPP Chairwoman Tsai criticised the KMT administration for stalling the beef dispute with the US with “technical trade barriers” while it possesses no ability of fully blocking the entry of the beef products with potential safety threats.

The best way to solve the problem is to reopen negotiations with the US and tighten the food hygiene regulations, she said.

Frank Hsieh, a former premier and DPP chairman, showed the DPP tactic of using the beef issue to gain ballots in the local elections to be held next month.

He called for voters' support for DPP candidates in the December elections. There will be a chance to reopen the beef trade talks with the US as long as the DPP can pick up seven seats for municipal and county administrations, exhibiting the public opinions backing the DPP policies, he asserted.

Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who was prevented again from getting the legislative meetings from moving by the DPP boycott, said the DPP should not prolong the obstruction of the lawmakers' work after the parliament was idled for a whole week last week.

He urged the DPP to demonstrate rationality and harmony when handling legislative matters after the executive branch has reached a new beef trade deal with the US that will be augmented with thorough inspection operations for the people's safety.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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