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Unilateral Chinese Announcement To Partially Reopen Beef Market Unsupported By Science

Friday, June 30, 2006

(Attribute to J. Patrick Boyle, President and CEO, American Meat Institute)

Today’s unilateral announcement by China to withdraw from negotiations with the United States and to attempt to force a limited market reopening is disappointing and inconsistent with international standards. It is also contrary to the commitment given by senior Chinese government officials to U.S. officials during bilateral consultations earlier this spring.

There is no scientific justification for not allowing the full resumption of beef imports from the U.S. That’s because U.S. beef derived from cattle of all ages is safe.

The unilateral conditions announced by China – only permitting the import of U.S. boneless beef under 30 months of age – are inconsistent with the international standards established by the OIE. These guidelines clearly note that there should be no cattle age requirement imposed on beef from a country with a low level BSE risk because effective and appropriate risk mitigation measures are, and have been, in place for years.

It takes two to trade, and we would strongly encourage the Government of China to reengage in negotiations with the U. S. Government and abide by its earlier market reopening commitment to fully restore trade in American beef.

For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Aff

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