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The Mad Cow Disease and US Beef

clock03-29-2010, 12:33 AM
Yorum: #1
The mad cow disease(MCD hereafter) and US beef has been a huge controversy as LMB opened the Korean market to US beef imports. I'd say, simply put, the advantages of importing US beef is all too obvoius. Beef is expesnive as hell in Korea, and cheap US beef is something that will alleviate the costs. The disadvantage is, however, is the wide-spread concern over the mad cow disease.

Apparently, PD Diary, a popular Korean current affairs program, ran a piece on this and, regardless of its accuracy, it has caused a huge sensation in Korea as now more than ten thousand Koreans are protested against US beef imports. I know that PD Diary often makes controversial claims, sometimes with twisted facts, but I think its claims have some merit(even though I haven't seen the program, I've heard of its main arguments from other sources). For instance, its claim that Koreans have genetic predisposition to increased vulnerability to the MCD may sound ridiculous to others, but I have reviewed the evidence and I beleive that this is true to some point. Not entirely, but there's a good possibility that Koreans are indeed more vulnerable to MCD than others.

Anyways, here's an article to start it off. Please share your opinions on this issue.


Korea Agrees to Open Beef Market to U.S.

Korea and the U.S. concluded beef talks last Friday. Accordingly, lean meat, bones, intestines of beef cattle, oxtails, sausages, smoked beef and processed beef products will be imported from the U.S. virtually without any restrictions from as early as May.

That finally settles the issue of Korea opening its market for more American beef imports, which the U.S. has set forth as a condition for ratifying the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, some four years after mad cow disease or BSE broke out in America.

Assistant Agriculture Minister Min Dong-seok on Friday said the eight-day high-level talks that started April 11 saw Korea agree “to expand American beef imports on a step-by-step basis. American beef imports will resume according to the new import conditions from mid-May at the earliest."

In the first stage, all beef parts except tonsils and distal ileum will be imported if the meat comes from cattle under 30 months old, including the brain, eyes, skull, spinal cord marrow and vertebrae.

For the second stage, Seoul will permit meat from cattle over 30 months old as long as additional specified risk materials (SRMs) are removed, predicated on an official pledge from the U.S to strengthen control and monitoring over the manufacture and sale of protein-based feeds to prevent the spread of BSE.

Korean consumers are likely to welcome the move, since U.S. beef is of good quality and a relatively low price -- half to one-quarter that of Korean beef. But anti-FTA activists accused the South Korean government of concluding a “raw" deal with a view to facilitating President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the U.S. and ratification of the FTA. They say the deal increases public concerns about mad cow disease.

Once imports of U.S. beef resume, it will be difficult for Korea to suspend them immediately if BSE breaks out again in the U.S. Experts say consumers should be mostly concerned that the agreement lifts requirements to document the age of butchered cattle, except for T-bone steak.

([email protected] )


I cited a Chosun article but please note that Chosun Ilbo may be biased as hell on this particular issue.
clock07-07-2012, 05:57 PM
Yorum: #2
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