TAIPEI, China – As trade officials in China mull whether to allow US beef and pork imports containing ractopamine into the country, a contingency of consumer groups presented legislators with a petition opposing the move on Feb. 29. According to a report published by China’s Central News Agency, The Consumer Protection Association of Taiwan led a number of its supporting groups urging lawmakers to not lift a ban on imported meat products containing the feed supplement used to promote leanness in livestock. It is currently banned in the European Union, Taiwan, China and approximately 100 other countries.

Chang Shan-hui, chairman of the CPAT, urged the government to continue the ban, claiming studies indicate there are negative side effects when ractopamine is fed to pigs. As part of the opposition campaign local pig producers are planning to stage a protest March 8 in Taipei. Trade officials there maintain the decision will ultimately be based on professional opinion and the ability to control risks.

The government, however, has reiterated that it has no pre-determined stance on the issue and will make a decision based on professional opinions and risk control.