Great Britain

Pig guts and punches thrown in Taiwan parliament during brawl over US pork imports

Pig guts and punches were thrown by politicians in Taiwan’s parliament, in a raucous dispute over pork imports from the United States.

In August, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen announced that from 1 January imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine - an additive that enhances leanness but is banned in the European Union and China – will be allowed.  

Taiwan’s decision to allow the import of pork has been welcomed by Washington as it was considered a roadblock in the trade between Taiwan and US – but opposition members have protested against the decision, citing food safety concerns and claiming it is a rushed decision.  

The pork imports have become a major issue in the past few weeks in Taiwan, with huge demonstrations taking place last weekend in the capital Taipei. 

On Friday, it led to MPs from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) clashing violently with members of the opposition, Kuomintang (KMT) party. 

The KMT lawmakers also blew whistles, held banners and sounded air horns. As the premier started speaking, a group of opposition lawmakers threw pig guts on the ground while some even exchanged blows. He tried to take questions but the shouting lawmakers didn’t allow him to.

Later, the DPP Party called the incident “disgusting” and throwing the pig guts on the parliament floor “a waste of food”.

However, the KMT party said to protect “people’s health and protect the bottom line of food safety” they cannot do anything but “resist".

Taiwan is infamous for the brawls in the parliament and over the years has witnessed exchanges of punches, hair pulling, and throwing of bottles. In July 2017, some legislators threw chairs when a discussion turned into a heated argument.  

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