The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday once again blocked Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) from taking the podium at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei after he failed to meet its demand for an apology for the government’s handling of imports of US pork containing traces of ractopamine.
During the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), then in opposition, strongly opposed the import of US pork containing the leanness-enhancing feed additive.
However, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the DPP on Aug. 28 announced that the government would lift the bans on US pork containing traces of ractopamine and US beef from cattle more than 30 months old.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The policy is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) yesterday said that Su had shown no respect for the opposition and failed to apologize to the public for the DPP’s U-turn on the issue.
KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為州) echoed Chiang’s statement, saying that all Su had to do to be allowed to take the podium was apologize on behalf of the government.
“As we’ve stated multiple times over the past three months, the KMT is concerned about public health and is against the decision to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine,” Lin said.
The DPP’s former staunch opposition to pork containing leanness-enhancing feed additives is at odds with its Aug. 28 announcement, Lin said.
The KMT was under the same pressure from the US when it was in power and yet, while allowing the import of beef from cattle aged under 30 months, it maintained the ban on pork containing ractopamine, he said.
“Is it so hard to acknowledge that they have erred, to admit to the public that their hands were tied?” he asked.
Lin said that as long as the DPP refuses to apologize for having double standards on the issue, the KMT would continue to block Su from presenting reports to the legislature.
Meanwhile, the KMT yesterday held a news conference in front of the Legislative Yuan to publicize the annual “Autumn Struggle” labor protest march tomorrow.
The news conference featured the party’s slogans against the import of US pork, black balloons and two model pigs.
Chiang urged those wishing to protest the pork issue to wear black at the march and to refrain from carrying anything that could be considered a political symbol.
“If you don’t take a stand now, you won’t be able to later. Don’t aid and abet despotism,” he said.
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