COA hopes guarantee will boost pork sales and prices


TAIPEI–Pork retailers will soon post guarantee certificates from hog farmers showing that their meat is free of leanness-enhancing drugs, a measure the Council of Agriculture (COA) hopes will boost sluggish pork sales amid a food scare.

Hsu Kuei-sen, chief of the COA’s Department of Animal Industry, said yesterday that the measure could take effect within a week.

Since March 14, domestic hog farmers have been required to sign a written guarantee pledging they have not used leanness enhancers in raising their pigs. The step was taken after two farms in Pingtung County were found to have fed their hogs with ractopamine and salbutamol. Consumers have no access to such guarantees because they are being provided only to wholesalers, but they will soon be able to see them posted at retail outlets selling pork. Also yesterday, an alliance of civic groups announced they will stage a food safety protest on Sunday to demand that the government maintain its zero tolerance policy for leanness enhancers in meats and ensure transparency in its policy-making.