DPP statement regarding President Ma's recent decision to expand U.S. beef imports

The DPP, after consultations with the DPP Legislative Caucus on October 26, issues the following positions concerning the import of U.S. beef.

1. The disappointing negotiations on US beef imports have exposed our citizens to serious health risks. As the decision was made above ministerial levels, we believe President Ma, Premier Wu and the Secretary General of the National Security Council must bear the greatest responsibility. In particular, we believe that the National Security Council, which has shown, starting last year when it yielded time and again on cross-strait issues, through the mistakes it made during the typhoon disaster relief efforts, to gratuitous concessions made on beef imports that it lacks the ability to cope with pressure and is not capable of protecting national interests as well as the security of the people. We believe that the Secretary General of the National Security Council must step down.

2. The DPP asks for renewed negotiations between the U.S. and Taiwan, and that each side respect expert opinions based on scientific evidence in order to protect the health of the people. We firmly oppose liberalizing the import of beef parts that are at a high-risk for mad cow disease, such as ground meat, the spinal cord and internal organs. Furthermore, we require that for those beef parts allowed for importation, U.S. cattle producers undergo cattle management that meets our inspection certification standards to ensure that their production processes meet our health requirements. Even more, our Department of Health must be accountable to our Legislative Yuan, and it must be able to prove to the public that they are capable of handling quality assurance and risk management.

3. Regarding our demand for a renewal of negotiations, we will circulate a petition seeking the support of members of the Legislative Yuan across party lines, to produce a resolution to restrain the Executive Yuan. The DPP expects that legislators from other member parties will join together to protect the health of the people.

4. Within a few days, this issue has generated widespread public discontent. The DPP believes that the Ma administration should withdraw the decision. If the Ma administration fails to meet these expectations, the DPP will boycott the budget reviews of the National Security Council, the Presidential Office and the Department of Health as well as other relevant units. The DPP will also combine social forces and DPP governing counties and cities to mobilize our action, so as to hold politically accountable those making policy decisions against the interests of the people.