Taiwan postpones pork referendum amid COVID-19 concerns

The Pig Site, 5 July 2021, photo credit: The Conversation

Taiwan will postpone four referendums due late next month, including two that could potentially ban pork containing ractopamine, because of fears about the spread of COVID-19.

Reuters reports that Taiwan’s election commission made the announcement on 2 July, as the government raced to contain a new outbreak at a Taipei wholesale food market.

Taiwan has been dealing with a cluster of community infections since mid-May, but numbers had begun stabilizing in recent weeks and are still comparatively low.

Taiwan’s election commission said that four referendums scheduled for 28 August would be postponed until 18 December due to the COVID situation.

“Given that the referendum day will be the country’s largest movement and gathering of people, at this time of the pandemic spreading it is advisable to avoid the serious consequences of an outbreak from people getting together,” commission chairman Lee Chin-yung said.

The two most important ones are on whether to ban pork containing a leanness-enhancing additive, while the other concerns whether to change the site of a planned new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to protect the maritime environment.

Last year, the government approved pork containing ractopamine, which is banned in the European Union and China though widely used in the United States, despite the objections of the main opposition party, the Kuomintang, on safety grounds.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.