COA head vows to enforce country of origin labeling on pork products

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — Council of Agriculture (COA) chief Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) pledged Sunday to fully implement country of origin labeling on pork products sold in Taiwan, amid concerns from pig farmers regarding a new trade policy.

Chen made the promise after meeting with the Taoyuan Pig Farmers Association, where they discussed how the government will support domestic pig farmers after Taiwan lifts its ban on residue of the controversial feed additive ractopamine in imported pork.

The new policy, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, was announced by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Aug. 28.

Chen supported an appeal by Taoyuan Pig Farmers Association head Tseng Wen-hu (曾文湖) for full implementation of country of origin labeling on products containing pork and for Taiwan to continue its ban on the use of ractopamine in domestic pigs.

In Taiwan, the origin of food products are legally required to be on display at supermarkets, restaurants and food vendors, and violators can be fined up to NT$3 million (US$100,830) for having no labeling and NT$4 million for false or misleading labeling.

Regarding concerns over the increased competition from American pork, Chen said the government plans to set up a NT$10 billion fund to subsidize the domestic pork industry, and will discuss how the fund should be used with members of the R.O.C. Swine Association.

The government will also develop more export opportunities for domestic pork and provide subsidies for facility upgrades, Chen promised.