Prayut: No US pork deal yet

Prayut: No US pork deal yet

(File photo)
(File photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted Tuesday that Thailand has not yet struck any deal to allow the import of pork from the United States.

He said he did not discuss the matter with US President Donald Trump during his visit to the White House last week. However, Gen Prayut admitted it is a trade issue item that a special committee needs to review.

Gen Prayut was responding to criticism and speculation that the Thai delegation reached an agreement for pork to be imported from the US.

This is strongly opposed by Thai pig farmers and consumer protection activists.

They insisted importing pork from the US is against a Thai law which has banned pork containing ractopamine for 12 years. The substance, banned in 160 countries for suspected health defects, is a feed additive to promote leanness in animals raised for their meat.

No link with disease or long-term effects ever has been proved. Some 27 countries including the US, Canada, Japan and South Korea, have declared meat from livestock fed ractopamine is safe for human consumption.

In another development, Gen Prayut said his government is considering economic stimulus measures requested by the private sector.

The prime minister did not elaborate on the measures but the private sector has asked for tax deductions on shopping and spending on tourism during the year-end festivities.

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