South Korea Panel Delays U.S. Beef Import Decision

SOUTH KOREA - A South Korean animal quarantine committee on Wednesday held off on a decision about whether to resume some U.S. beef imports, a move which could add to tensions in a simmering trade dispute with Washington.
calendar icon 26 July 2007
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"Most members questioned whether the U.S. can completely follow the guidelines in exporting beef, as some shipments from the U.S. were recently found to contain bone," the country's agriculture ministry said in a statement.

U.S. lawmakers have threatened to sink a sweeping bilateral free-trade deal struck with South Korea in April if Seoul does not fully open its market to American beef.

South Korea, once the third-largest importer of U.S. beef, now accepts only boneless beef from U.S. cattle less than 30 months of age.

The committee, which comprises veterinarians, professors, government officials and members of the public, said it needs more time to decide if it will allow bone-in beef imports.

South Korea halted imports from two U.S. meat processing plants after finding beef ribs in shipments that arrived last week. About 25 tonnes of beef from Cargill Inc. [CARG.UL] and Swift & Co. were sent back, according to the ministry. A Man A Woman

Source: Yahoo! Asia News
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