DPP heads supported US beef imports when in gov’t: KMT

By Grace Soong,The China Post

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reported to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it wanted to import U.S. feed additive-containing beef during its administration, with multiple party heads publicly supporting the idea, a ruling Kuomintang (KMT) legislator revealed yesterday. Former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), ex-Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), ex-Deputy Premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), ex-Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), ex-Director of the Government Information Office Hsieh Chi-wei (謝志偉), ex-Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻), and ex-Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) had all publicly expressed approval for the then-ruling DPP’s decision to allow the import of ractopamine-containing U.S. beef in August of 2007, according to KMT Legislator Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌). Reacting to Hsu’s accusation, DPP Caucus Whip Pan Men-an (潘孟安) asserted yesterday that it is a shame that the Ma Ying-jeou administration is trying to brush off responsibilities on the topic of U.S. beef imports by blaming the DPP.

Every ruling party faces stress from the U.S. government, Pan said, stressing that the DPP had survived through the U.S. pressure and did not lift bans against imports of beef that could be potentially detrimental to the public’s health while it ruled the country.

Calling the Ma government irresponsible, Pan said the KMT should not try to divert the public’s attention by taking some partial story and making it the whole picture,. KMT Wastes Money: DPP The Executive Yuan traveled south and held forums explaining its U.S. beef policies to the public over the weekend. DPP Legislators Chen Ting-Fei (陳亭妃) and Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) yesterday criticized the move, saying the KMT not only wasted money on holding the forums, but also deprived those with opposing beliefs of the right to speak up during the forums.

COA Deputy Minister Wang Cheng-teng (王政騰) retorted that the COA had remained neutral during the forums, and no serious conflicts had taken place like some had imagined.

The forums were hosted by the COA, and those who participated were invited by local governments, farmers’ associations, and some KMT offices. It is untruthful to say that DPP supporters and members were unwelcome at the forums, Wang said.