S. Korea Not Expected To Move An Inch On US Talks

SOUTH KOREA - South Korea will push to maintain its ban on materials that could transmit mad cow disease at its talks with the U.S. aimed at revising rules for importing American beef, government sources said Thursday.
calendar icon 11 October 2007
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The two-day technical consultation meeting, which runs through Friday at the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, is being held so a new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standard can be made to replace the one agreed upon in January 2006. Washington formally requested a revision to the standard in late May.

South Korea bans specified risk materials (SRMs) and only allows U.S. beef from cattle under 30 months old.

SRMs -- which include backbones, head bones, brains, spinal cords and certain organs -- are blacklisted because they pose the greatest risk of transmitting mad cow disease to humans. South Korea banned American beef after a case of the disease was confirmed in the U.S. in December 2003.

Sources said South Korean negotiators led by Lee Sang-kil, head of the Agriculture Ministry's livestock bureau, is expected to make clear that Seoul will not allow imports of SRMs.

Source: Yonhap News
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