Controversy Over US Beef Imports Heats Up in Taiwan

Parliament will soon vote on a bill that would prohibit the import of US beef containing a banned drug.


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Tensions are mounting in Taiwan as lawmakers debate whether or not to accept US imports of beef containing ractopamine, a growth-promoting drug currently banned in Taiwan, China, and the European Union. The legislative branch, which goes into summer recess this afternoon, has yet to reach a decision about the bill, a fact that has caused chaos to erupt in the legislative hall as opposing parties vocalize their stance on the matter. Meanwhile, the subject of US beef imports has also been contentious among Taiwanese citizens, many of whom have been rallying outside of parliament in protest of the measure, citing concerns about ractopamine’s safety. The controversial drug is fed to livestock in order to reduce their fat content and boost their growth.