The Legislative Yuan’s Economics Committee on March 19 issued a non-binding resolution calling on the Ministry of Economic Affairs to ban the import of certain U.S. and Canadian beef products.
The resolution move was in response to the Council of Agriculture’s declaration that six products, including tallow and bone marrow, were not internal organs and need not be included on the list of beef products banned from nations with a history of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. The products in question are bone marrow, blood, meat attached to the skull, cheek meat, gullet muscles, and fat. U.S. regulations define “specified risk materials” for BSE as the brain, skull, eye organs, spinal cord and column, spinal nerves, tonsils, and distal ileum (part of the small intestine) from cattle 30 months or older. Beef cattle are typically slaughtered when they are 12 to 24 months old. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, all of the products except tallow are considered “slaughter by-products.” Tallow is a food tissue and has not been implicated as a BSE reservoir.