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Jeb Bush to arrive today on three-day visit: MOFA (Taiwan) [View All]

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-24-12 02:43 PM
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Jeb Bush to arrive today on three-day visit: MOFA (Taiwan)
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Source: China Post

The China Post news staff--Former United States Governor of Florida Jeb Bush will embark a three-day visit to Taiwan from today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.

During his stay, the American politician will be visiting President Ma Ying-jeou, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and Foreign Minister Timothy Yang, among others, a MOFA statement said.

He will also make an open speech on the sustainable development of the U.S. economy during his visit, it said.


Jeb Bush has previously visited Taiwan on several occasions in the 1980s for business purposes, the statement said.

Read more:

Who made Jeb Bush ambassador?

Florida's former governor Jeb Bush meets Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong, May 22, 2012

Edited to add this VERY interesting article in today's Taiwan Times:

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou asks US to upgrade F-16 jets

012-05-24 03:10 PM

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) President Ma Ying-jeou told former Florida Governor Jeb Bush Thursday that he hoped the United States could help upgrade its more than 140 F-16 fighter jets.


Ma told Bush he hoped the upgrade could turn the capacity of the older jets into something close to the F-16C/D type.

The president praised both George H.W. Bush and ex-Governor Jeb Bushs brother, former President George W. Bush, as true friends of Taiwan.

Ma expressed the hope that the US would soon announce that Taiwanese citizens would no longer need a visa to visit the country and that talks on a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) could resume.

He also mentioned the hope that the US beef issue could soon be solved. Mas insistence on lifting the ban on the import of US beef products treated with lean-meat drugs like ractopamine has clouded the past four months. The president first mentioned the eventual end to the ban in conversations with US visitors shortly after his January 14 re-election.

Despite overwhelming opposition from consumers rights organizations, food safety experts, and politicians including lawmakers from his own Kuomintang, Ma reportedly wants the necessary legislative amendments to end the ban passed in June at the latest.

Lawmakers from both KMT and opposition have filed proposals setting a zero content level for ractopamine, in effect writing the ban on the beef into law.

The Ma administration has said that talks on TIFA are unlikely to resume unless the ractopamine ban is terminated. Critics have accused the president of sacrificing public health to please the US.

U.S. Presses Taiwan on Ractopamine Ban, February 7, 2012

Just days after the reelection of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, Washington is stepping up pressure on the administration to back down on its ban on ractopamine, a leanness- and growth-promoting drug used widely in pork and beef production in the United States. Taiwan's zero tolerance policy for the drug, which applies to both domestic production and imports, has become a critical barrier to further liberalizing trade between the two countries.


Taiwan, which is the sixth largest export market for beef and pork, began testing U.S. beef for ractopamine in January 2011 and within days found trace levels of the drug. U.S. food safety officials said the levels found ranged from 2.4 to 4.07 parts per billion (ppb), which falls below both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration standard, of 30 ppb, and the proposed international standard of 10 ppb, but Taiwanese officials pulled the meat from the shelves of grocery stores, including Costco, citing consumer concerns.

In early June, Taiwan rejected nearly 100 tons of frozen U.S. beef after it tested positive for ractopamine at 1.5 ppb. Ten days later, Burger King Taiwan temporarily suspended sales of products containing bacon after the Taiwan Department of Health found U.S.-imported pork products to contain ractopamine and seized the pork before hitting grocery store shelves. Public health officials said they found 3 ppb in fully cooked bacon products. Burger King declined to comment on the matter.

The issue has strained the U.S.-Taiwan trade relationship. Taiwan's policy on ractopamine is often cited as a primary reason the two countries have tabled bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks. U.S. officials maintain that Taiwan's policy is not science-based.

With renewed pressure from Washington to lift the ban, consumers and farmers are threatening protest, according to Focus Taiwan.


While ractopamine use remains controversial abroad, there is little awareness in the United States, even though there have been issues with the drug.

"Although few Americans outside of the livestock industry have ever heard of ractopamine, the feed additive is controversial. Fed to an estimated 60 to 80 percent of pigs in the United States, it has resulted in more reports of sickened or dead pigs than any other livestock drug on the market, an investigation of Food and Drug Administration records shows."


Dispute over drug in feed limiting US meat exports, January 25, 2012


U.S. exports of beef and pork are on track to hit $5 billion each for the first time, the U.S. Meat Export Federation estimates. Pork exports to China quadrupled from 2005 to 2010 to $463 million but are still only 2-3 percent of the market.

China is a potentially huge market for us, said Dave Warner, spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council.

Part of a class of drugs called beta-agonists, ractopamine mimics stress hormones, making the heart beat faster and relaxing blood vessels. Some beta-agonists are used to treat people with asthma or heart failure, but ractopamine has not been proposed for human use.

In animals, ractopamine revs up production of lean meat, reducing fat. Pigs fed the drug in the last weeks of their life produce an average of 10 percent more meat, compared with animals on the same amount of feed that don't receive the drug. That raises profits by $2 per head, according to the drug's manufacturer, Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly. It sells the drug under the brand name Paylean.

Ractopamine leaves animals' bodies quickly, with pig studies showing about 85 percent excreted within a day. But low levels of residues can still be detected in animals more than a week after they've consumed the drug.


British expert explains the EU ban on ractopamine, March 30, 2012

Europe took a different approach toward animal welfare and food safety from the US, he said. It was not up to food producers to unilaterally decide how the product was produced consumers were also influential and vocal.

In Europe, consumers are controlling what happens ... and companies are more aware of the power of consumers ... while in the US, producers still dominate how the product is produced, he said.

Citing EU research data, Broom said that beta-agonists cause meat to have a higher water content, which effectively penalizes consumers, who for pay more per unit of weight.

Research results also showed that ractopamine use increases human anxiety, he said, adding that animals treated with the drug are more active, more difficult to handle and find it harder to deal with adverse situations.

That is why ractopamine is banned in 160 countries, including EU member states, and clenbuterol, another beta-agonist which is much more persistent in animal carcases, is banned in almost every country, he said.

An observation and a question:

The U. S. should not be pressuring the people of other countries to accept risky additives in U. S. animal meat imports, particularly when those additives have been banned by 160 countries and the people are vehemently opposed to exposure to associated health risks.

And again we ask, who made Jeb Bush ambassador?

This news today is distressing on all fronts.

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