FDA to lift a ban on imported beef products

Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to lift a ban on beef products imported from Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands by mid-September at the earliest.

Taiwan imposed the ban in 2003 after the three countries, along with the United States and Canada, were found to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease. Since then, restrictions on US and Canadian beef have already been eased.

An FDA official, Wu Zong-hsi, said on Monday that the decision was made after a careful review and on-site inspections.

Because the beef is from countries where [an outbreak of the disease occurred], we have handled the matter with caution. As with the restrictions imposed on beef from the United States and Canada, the products must be from animals under 30 months of age," said Wu. "Because the application sent by the Netherlands specified animals aged 12 months or less, that's the restriction we will impose. Aside from ribs and boneless beef [which can be imported], other products, including innards, ground beef, and parts that are considered risky, will not be allowed to enter [Taiwan], in line with food safety laws.

The FDA says that 94% of the beef consumed in Taiwan is imported from the United States and Australia.

Source: Radio Taiwan International