Korea to respect global rules on U.S. beef imports: official

KOREA - Korea will reconsider current import standards for U.S. beef depending on the findings of the World Organization for Animal Health and the consensus reached by member states by May 2007, an Agriculture Ministry official said yesterday.
calendar icon 20 November 2006
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"Our import standards of U.S. beef will be reconsidered depending on the outcome and the circumstances," Oh Soon-min, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, told The Korea Herald.

The official's comments came after Chuck Lambert, deputy undersecretary for the United States Department of Agriculture, visited Seoul last week as part of an Asia tour in a bid to campaign for a new agreement. Taiwan and the Philippines were also on the agenda.

Washington has been asking Seoul to ease its ban on bone parts. Both sides agreed in January imports of U.S. beef would be boneless and from cattle younger than 30 months of age.

Oh said Lambert met with Korean Agriculture Ministry officials to explain Washington's plans to seek a grading from the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) for its beef safety. American beef faces the challenge of easing public fears over mad cow disease and eradicating negative sentiment among Korean consumers.

Source: koreaherald.co.kr
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