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American Meat Institute Applauds Long-Awaited Beef Trade Deal With South Korea

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The American Meat Institute (AMI) today applauded news that the U.S. and South Korea have reached an agreement to resume beef trade.

AMI commended U.S. negotiators for their efforts to communicating the interlocking safeguards in place in the United States that make the U.S. beef supply among the safest in the world.

Resumption of trade is a long overdue but very welcome development,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. “The facts clearly demonstrate U.S. beef safety. We are gratified that now consumers in Korea will soon have access to our products.”

Trade with South Korea ceased in 2003 after the U.S. announced its first case of BSE in an imported cow. The U.S. began an enhanced surveillance program to determine if more cases existed in the U.S. herd. Nearly 750,000 tests have been run as part of the enhanced surveillance program and only two additional cases have been found, leading U.S. officials to conclude that the risk of BSE in the U.S. is so low it is nearly incalculable.

Prior to cessation of trade, U.S. beef exports to Korea were valued at $1 billion a year.

Boyle said that the protracted negotiations with Korea and ongoing challenges in resuming trade with other nations since 2003 point to the need for global harmonization of trade rules according to the standards set by the World Animal Health Organization.

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