S. Korea Says US Beef Still Unsafe

KOREA - The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry reportedly sent the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) a written opinion saying U.S. cattle still are not free from danger of mad cow disease, just a week after Seoul and Washington concluded free trade agreement (FTA) talks.
calendar icon 3 May 2007
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» An employee of a U.S. beef processing plant cuts meat for sale with a power saw.

During the negotiations, the Korean government promised to consider importing U.S. beef containing bone fragments through reasonable procedures if the OIE concludes the U.S. as the country that can control mad cow disease risks.

During an FTA-related hearing of the National Assembly's Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries on May 2, the Democratic Labor Party's (DLP) Kang Ki-kap revealed what he read from undisclosed documents that the ministry sent to the OIE on April 9. In the documents, the ministry demands that more sufficient data or on-site inspections will be needed in some beef categories.

According to the documents, the ministry stressed that the U.S. should confirm whether or not its farm houses observe international regulations on the advance inspection for mad cow disease cases. According to the ministry, the U.S. does not have an effective system to trace the origin of cattle affected by the disease or routes of infection. It also claims the the U.S. permits dangerous parts of contaminated cows to be used as feedstuff for other non-ruminant animals, raising concerns of cross-contamination.

Source: YonhapNews

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