Taiwan soon to allow Canadian UTM bone-in beef: reports

Taiwan’s economic affairs ministry has announced plans to allow imports of bone-in beef products from Canadian cattle under 30 months old (UTMs), starting as early as next month, Taiwanese media report.

Canadian beef exporters have only been able to ship boneless UTM beef to Taiwan since 2007. Taiwan and many other jurisdictions worldwide had previously blocked Canadian beef outright, after Canada’s first home-grown case of BSE was confirmed in an Alberta cow in 2003.

The Taipei Times’ website on Friday quoted Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration as saying Canada, like the U.S., is considered a “controlled risk” country for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), and the chance of contracting the human form of the disease from eating Canadian beef products is 1.22 out of 100 billion, or “close to zero.”

FDA deputy director-general Chiang Yu-mei was quoted as saying Canadian beef products in 2012 held just a 0.3 per cent market share in the country, while Taiwanese suppliers’ home market share was only six per cent. Australia held the largest share ar 46 per cent, with the U.S. at 24.76 per cent and New Zealand 23 per cent.

The website quoted the economic affairs ministry as saying opening Taiwan’s ports to Canadian bone-in beef could help the country move closer to signing a bilateral investment agreement with Canada.

That, in turn, could help create the opportunity for Taiwan to get in on regional economic blocs, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), vice-minister Francis Liang told the news outlet. Canada is already at the TPP table. — AGCanada.com Network

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