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Legislature votes against putting U.S. beef imports on agenda

2012/04/27 13:50:24

Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) The Legislature voted narrowly against an impromptu motion to put the U.S. beef import issue on the agenda Friday, following the discovery of a new case of mad cow disease in the United States earlier this week.

Before Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng cast a deciding nay vote, lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition camps had voted 44-44 on a proposal to discuss a possible ban on American beef products.

The motion was raised by opposition party legislators from the Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan Solidarity Union and People First Party in light of a new confirmed case of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), in central California.

"Say no to mad cow meat! Safeguard our citizen’s health!” opposition lawmakers shouted before the voting process.

They urged President Ma Ying-jeou’s administration to immediately stop imports of American beef products and ensure such meat is removed from the local market.

Taiwanese people face a greater risk of contracting variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease -- a fatal brain disease -- by eating meat tainted with mad cow disease, the proposal read, citing a study conducted by the country’s National Health Research Institutes.

With Indonesia already banning certain American beef products, Taiwan should also consider doing so, it said.

(By Nancy Liu)