TAIPEI — The Council of Agriculture (COA) defended locally produced chicken yesterday, saying that it contains no veterinary drug residue that could pose a threat to human health.
Local chicken has not been found since 2003 to contain residue of banned Beta2-adrenoceptor agonist, a veterinary drug that helps improve bulk in animals, said Hsu Tien-lai, director of the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine.
The COA official issued the clarification in response to a media report that two types of Beta2-adrenoceptor agonist — Salbutamol and Clenbuterol — had been detected in the blood serum of patients at Taipei Veterans General Hospital.
Hsu said some nations allow limited doses of Ractopamine, another kind of Beta2-adrenoceptor agonist, but noted that this drug is used only for cattle and pigs. Ractopamine is used to improve feed efficiency, increase weight gain and improve carcass leanness. Hsu said that if the report is correct, the hospital should find out if the patients had consumed chicken illegally imported from other countries, or if they had taken medication containing Beta2-adrenoceptor agonist.