U.S. Calls For S. Korea To Revise Beef Import Guidelines

SOUTH KOREA - The United States has urged South Korea to change its meat quarantine guidelines to permit imports of bone-in beef, the government said Friday.
calendar icon 10 August 2007
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The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said Washington made the request late last week following the discovery of a box containing cow backbones that arrived in the country on July 29. Authorities said last Thursday that all quarantine inspections of American beef have been put on hold this month in accordance with current sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) arrangement rules.

After banning American beef in late 2003 after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in the U.S., Seoul agreed to a new SPS arrangement in January last year. Under that deal, South Korea said it would only resume imports of non-specified risk materials (SRM) and boneless beef from cattle under 30 months old.

The first shipment of boneless American beef cleared customs in late April.

"The U.S. claims that revising all of the import rules through direct working-level talks is a 'realistic solution' to the current problem of Seoul halting quarantine inspections of individual beef processing plants or the blanket ban that went into effect on August 1," said a government source, who declined to be identified.

Source: Yonhap News
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