South Korea Halts US Beef Inspections

SEOUL — South Korea was Friday considering a new suspension of US beef imports, little over a month after resuming them, after another shipment was found to contain banned bones.
calendar icon 5 October 2007
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A South Korean quarantine inspector

Beef has become one of the most sensitive issues in trade relations between the United States and South Korea, which have reached a controversial draft free trade agreement.

An agriculture ministry spokesman said South Korea found a box containing backbones, which are prohibited, in a shipment of beef that arrived last month.

"An announcement is expected to come later on whether to suspend quarantine inspections," he said.

Yonhap News said the ministry had already suspended the quarantine inspections, which is tantamount to a temporary ban.

South Korea has suspended US beef imports several times, most recently in August, since it last year ended a three-year total ban imposed to keep out mad cow disease.

Source: AFP

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