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Beef traders, eateries ready for compulsory beef labeling

2012/09/11 22:48:34

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Beef outlets and eateries said Tuesday that they were ready for new compulsory labeling of beef origin set to begin the following day.

Outlets, malls, supermarkets, traditional markets, restaurants, fast-food stores and night market vendors will all be required to clearly label the source of their beef.

The first two months will be used as a period to raise public awareness, after which period, violators will be fined between NT$30,000 (US$1,011) and NT$150,000 if they fail to comply.

The compulsory labeling of origin is part of the conditions the government set for lifting a ban on U.S. beef containing traces of leanness-enhancing drugs earlier this year, in an effort to assure members of the public that they have a choice as to whether or not to purchase tainted beef.

Pxmart, a major retailer in Taiwan, said the chain store insists on only selling Australian beef.

Fast food chain store McDonald's said the company has been using Australian beef in recent years and that it has clear labeling on its official website and TV ads.

Famous restaurant Din Tai Fung said it uses Australian and Taiwanese beef for its dishes and does not use U.S. beef.

It said it will have clear labeling at the entrances of its restaurants, as well as on its menus.

The Wowprime Group, one of Taiwan's biggest restaurant group, said it will have clear labeling at its entrances and checkout counters. Waiters and waitresses will also explain to patrons when they are ordering dishes.

The Council of Agriculture said it will provide "selling Taiwanese beef" labels to shops should they request them.

Meat and Livestock Australia, a producer-owned company, meanwhile, said that big meat traders already have their own stickers or plates, but that the company can provide additional ones if needed.

(By Lin Shen-hsu, Yang Shu-min and Lilian Wu)