Taiwan Ban on US Beef Stays, Now Over Fear of BSE
Aug 06, 2012 03:36 AM EDT | By Sharon Robinson
Taiwan is once again at odds with the US over beef imports, this time because of the fear of buying beef products from diseased cows.
Import of ground beef and cattle organs from the US has been barred for a decade, till 2022, by the Taiwanese government. This came as a result of the disease BSE being found in a cow in the US. The ban is in accordance to article 11 of the Act Governing Food Sanitation.
BSE or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, commonly known as the mad cow disease, is a degenerative neurological condition affecting the animal's ability to stand. If meat from an animal with BSE is consumed by humans, it could lead to a disease of the brain, called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
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The food sanitation act of Taiwan prohibits meat from BSE affected cows from entering the food supply.
In April, a dairy cow infected with the mad cow disease was found in the US. But, according to reports by the US Department of Agriculture, or the USDA, the case is atypical, and an isolated one. The US is obligated to inform Taiwan of the isolated case, according to their bilateral beef trade agreement.
This was the fourth case of BSE in the US, in a span of nine years.
The Taiwanese government had only recently relaxed the ban of beef that were found to have the presence of ractopamine, a feed additive, which enhances leanness of the meat. The relaxation of the ban came about after the Codex Alimentarius dictated the minimum amount of ractopamine allowed in beef.
This ban may once again place a strain on the US-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, or TIFA talks, to which Taiwan has been looking forward to.
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