According to a senior official of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan, they are still talking about when to resume long-stalled talks after a new dispute over the use of animal drugs in U.S. beef threatened to delay the talks again. The dispute was triggered when Taiwanese authorities ordered some cuts of beef imported from the U.S. to be taken off the market after they were found to contain residue of drugs that promote leanness, which are banned in Taiwan.
According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Taiwan began testing beef imports for the growth promotant ractopamine hydrochloride on January 1, 2011. The Taiwan government's decision to conduct the testing has created uncertainty in the market and caused a slowdown in beef exports to Taiwan.
The use of ractopamine hydrochloride is approved by regulatory authorities in 26 countries, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which considers it a safe feed ingredient that helps livestock grow more efficiently and increase the proportion of lean meat to fat.