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Growing Concerns Over U.S. Beef

Posted May. 01, 2008 07:18,   


Korea and the United States just agreed to resume imports of American beef. However, some are misleading the public by acting as if this is the first time Korea has opened up its market to U.S. beef.

The Kim Dae-jung government opened Korea’s beef market to the United States back in 2001. But the government imposed a U.S. beef import ban in 2003 when the United States announced its first outbreak of mad cow disease.

The Korean government resumed U.S. beef imports in 2006 when the two nations reached an agreement on hygiene conditions for beef import. But a ban was again imposed on American beef imports when bone-in beef was brought in. Recently, the Lee Myung-bak government agreed with the United States to revise hygiene conditions and resume beef imports.

Lee Sang-gil of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said, “Hygiene conditions are a type of non-tariff barrier. Nations that have reached an agreement over free trade cannot indefinitely postpone the opening of their beef markets. It seems that many Koreans mistakenly consider revising hygiene conditions as the opening up of the market.”