Pig guts fly in offal fight over meat imports in Taiwan’s parliament – Protesting import of U.S. pork with ractopamine
Opposition party’s ‘disgusting’ protest prompts scuffle in Taipei legislative yuan
Helen Davidson in Taipei and agencies
Fri 27 Nov 2020 06.57 EST Last modified on Sat 28 Nov 2020 00.24 EST
Fists and pig guts fly in Taiwan’s parliament debate on US pork imports – video
Parliamentarians in Taiwan have thrown pig guts at each other before coming to blows over plans to allow US meat imports.
Members of the opposition Chinese nationalist party (KMT) brought the offal to the legislative yuan on Friday in the latest of daily protests during parliamentary sittings.
During a scheduled policy speech by the premier, Su Tseng-chang, KMT members waved banners, blew whistles and hurled buckets of guts. When ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) legislators intervened the situation escalated into a chaotic fist fight. The aftermath revealed torn placards and raw guts strewn across the floor.
The DPP government’s recent decision to lift a ban on US pork and beef imports has been met with fierce opposition by the KMT and some of the public.
The ban had related to pork products with residue of the feed additive ractopamine, used by some farmers in the US to promote lean meat, but which is banned in Europe and China. Opponents fear it is a health threat and the KMT has accused the government of rushing the new regulations through.
A still image from a video of the scuffle in the parliament in Taipei. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters
“In order to protect people’s health and protect the bottom line of food safety, the opposition party cannot but resist,” the party said of Friday’s protest.
The issue featured at an annual protest held in Taipei last weekend, with a giant inflatable pig flown above the crowd, the BBC reported.
The government, which has been accused of supporting the ban when in opposition only to change their stance now, sees the lifting of the ban as a first step towards a trade deal with the US. Last week the two governments held the first talks under a new economic dialogue, and signed a five-year memorandum of understanding to further ties in tech, health and security.
Physical altercations and protests are not uncommon in Taiwan’s legislative yuan.
The DPP said the KMT’s actions were “disgusting” and a waste of food.