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October 30, 2006

First U.S. Beef Shipment Arrives in South Korea after Lifting of Import Ban

According to an AP article Sunday in the International Herald Tribune, the South Korea Agriculture Ministry has said the first shipment of U.S. beef arrived in South Korea on Monday ater the country lifted a nearly three-year-old import ban that was triggered by mad cow disease fears.  The nine-ton shipment will be released in about 15 days after a thorough quarantine inspection.  The import ban was imposed in December of 2003 after the first reported case of mad cow disease in the U.S.  Prior to that time, South Korea was the third largest importer of U.S. beef.  In January of this year South Korea agreed to a limited lifting of the ban, accepting only boneless meat and only meat from cattle less than 30 months old, based upon beliefs that mad cow disease is less likely to be present in younger cattle and that some material in bones could be dangerous for consumption.  In September, South Korea said the problems were addressed and approved the resumption of imports. The delay in the resumption of imports was due to the time it took to adopt measures to ensure meat safety.  The main problems were that some of the U.S. slaughterhouses designated to handle meat for export to South Korea either did not separate American and foreign beef, or failed to differentiate between tools used to slaughter old and young cattle.

October 30, 2006 | Permalink


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