Beef from Canadian cattle cannot be imported under U.S. FTA: official

SOUTH KOREA - Beef from Canadian cattle cannot be imported under the free trade pact with the United States, an Agriculture Ministry official said Thursday.
calendar icon 6 April 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Bae Jong-ha, the top negotiator for farm issues in the free trade agreement (FTA) talks. said that while alarm bells have been sounded about the risk of Canadian beef coming through the U.S., Seoul can block such shipments.

"The FTA agreed upon Monday only touches on tariffs and not about our import guidelines," Bae said. He said that since South Korea does not permit Canadian beef into the country, if such a shipment is found it can be blocked.

Bae, head of the international agriculture bureau, said such a discovery can cause Seoul to look more carefully at import rules for American beef. He did did not elaborate, but hinted tighter inspections could be implemented if Canadian beef was intentionally mislabeled and exported as American beef.

In the FTA, Seoul said it would consider all meat from cattle raised in the U.S. for 100 days as being a product of the country.

The comments come as civic groups argued that there is a possibility of Canadian cattle herded over the border to the U.S., where they could be slaughtered and processed as American beef. Washington has allowed cross-border movement of live Canadian cattle under 30 months old since mid-2005.

Seoul banned Canadian beef in mid-2003 after mad cow disease was reported in Canada. The country took similar actions against American beef in the same year, but decided to allow the import of boneless beef from cattle under 30 months old from the U.S. in January 2006.

Source: Yonhap News
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