Taiwan Agrees on New Maximum Residue Limit for Ractopamine in Beef

On 15 August 2012, the Department of Health (DOH) amended the standard for veterinary drug residue limits in food by setting the maximum residue limit (MRL) for Ractopamine in beef at 10 µg/kg or ppb.
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Oct. 26, 2012 - PRLog -- Taiwan is the ninth-largest market for U.S beef.  Between 2005 and 2010, imports have increased from US$40 million to US$215 million.  However in 2011, U.S beef imports dropped off sharply by 50% due to a ban on using Ractopamine.  Ractopamine is a beta-agonist which acts as growth promoter in livestock by diverting fat deposits to muscle tissue. The MRL of this compound in beef was disputed a few years ago because of a disagreement between EU and China to establish MRL for Ractopamine at 10 ppb without sufficient risk assessment data.  

To resolve the controversy over the trade of meat containing Ractopamine, Codex Alimentarius Commission made the decision to set a consensus of MRL for Ractopamine at 10 µg/kg in pig and cattle muscle, 40 µg/kg in liver and, 90 µg/kg in animal kidney on 6 July, 2012.  These residue levels have no impact on human health based on scientific risk assessment which was carried out by The Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) (http://www.who.int/foodsafety/chem/jecfa/publications/en/index.html), a group of independent experts convened by the UN food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).  Recently, the JECFA MRL has been used as the international standard in many countries.  

SGS laboratories can provide the service of Ractopamine testing (http://www.sgs.com/en/Agriculture-Food/Food/Logistics-and-Trade/Testing-and-Analytical-Services/Vetinary-Drug-Residue-Testing.aspx) in meat products by using LC-MS/MS technique in order to obtain the lowest limit of detection with a high degree of confidence regarding the analyst identification.

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. SGS continually invests in world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality.


·      Taiwan Health News Department (http://www.doh.gov.tw/EN2006/DM/DM2_p01.aspx?class_no=387&now_fod_list_no=9073&level_no=1&doc_no=85871)

·      SGS SafeGuardS 022/11 (http://newsletter.sgs.com/eNewsletterPro/uploadedimages/000006/SGS-Safeguards-02211-Raptopamine-contamination-EN-11.pdf)

·      UN Food Safety Body sets limits on veterinary growth (http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/150953/icode/)

For further information please contact the local SGS expert.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services

Amornpun Dajsiripun

GCSC Food Specialist- Global Competence Support Center

41/23 Soi Rama III 59 Rama III Road, Chongnonsee


10120 Bangkok


t: +66 2 683 0541 ext 2413


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.
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