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DPP reaffirms stance on U.S. beef containing ractopamine

2012/06/17 18:17:54

Taipei, June 17 (CNA) The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) expressed Sunday its stance over the hotly debated U.S. beef dispute, saying that it opposes beef imports containing ractopamine but not trade talks with the United States or U.S. beef imports in general.

The DPP will try to communicate with the U.S., said Liu Shih-chung, director of the DPP's International Affairs Department. He declined to elaborate.

Liu's remark came after the public affairs section chief of the American Institute in Taiwan, Sheila Paskman, expressed disappointment after the Legislative Yuan failed June 15 to vote on a bill that would allow imports of U.S. beef containing ractopamine, a leanness enhancing drug used as a feed additive that is banned in many countries around the world.

According to Paskman, "some people are making the beef controversy a political issue" and have on various occasions provided misleading as well as false information "for political gains."

The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

Lai I-chung, a former director of the now-defunct DPP representative office in the U.S. said that if the party decides to open an office in the United States, this could strengthen the party's interaction with U.S. officials.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang has announced his plans to resume the party's representative office in the U.S. and open an office in Japan.

An extraordinary legislative session was scheduled to be held the following day to deal with the beef import issue after the legislature failed to put the beef issue to a vote before the current session ended June 15 following a DPP occupation of the legislative podium that lasted for several days and nights.

KMT Central Policy Committee Director Lin Hung-chih said inter-party negotiations will be held to decide the timing of the session.

(By Su Lung-chi, Tseng Ying-yu and Hanna Liu)