Scores of Taiwanese activists staged a protest in Taipei today against US beef containing the feed additive ractopamine ahead of a parliamentary vote on a controversial bill to allow such imports.
“American bullies, toxic beef,” the protesters shouted, waving matching placards as they rallied outside the de facto US embassy in Taipei.
The island’s parliament is set to vote next week on a bill to allow imports of US beef containing the growth drug ractopamine, which is used in animal feed to promote lean meat.
The move aims at facilitating trade talks with the US but it has been met with strong opposition from local farmers, activists, opposition parties and even some lawmakers of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party.
President Ma Ying-jeou, also chairman of the KMT, has urged the party’s lawmakers to back the bill, saying it will facilitate agreement with the United States on a pact known as the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
Talks between Washington and Taipei on TIFA, often referred to as a precursor to a full-fledged Free Trade Agreement (FTA), have been dormant since 2007, because of a dispute over imports of US beef.
Washington has recently urged Taipei to ease restrictions on US beef, indicating that the stalled trade talks between the two sides hinge on the issue.
Just go Vegetarian and solve all your problems!!