Drugmaker CEO talks innovation, avoids issue of ractopamine safety

By Enru Lin, The China Post

The China Post–CEO John C. Lechleiter of Eli Lilly and Company sidestepped the issue of ractopamine safety yesterday at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei. Eli Lilly and Company is the U.S. pharmaceutical company that produces ractopamine. At an AmCham luncheon on Thursday, Lechleiter gave a talk titled “Transforming the Future of Asia: The Link between Health and Economic Growth.” He introduced Eli Lilly and Company as an innovative producer of medicines. The company’s products treat “cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, depression and schizophrenia, and other conditions,” he said. Upon exiting the venue, Lechleiter was greeted by local media inquiring about the safety of ractopamine, a controversial growth promoter at the heart of stalled U.S.-Taiwan trade talks.

Lechleiter declined to respond to reporters, but later issued a statement through a spokesman at the Taiwan branch of Eli Lilly and Company. Lechleiter hopes the Taiwanese government will make the most appropriate decision regarding ractopamine, said company spokesman Chen Ying-cheng.