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Canada asks for access to South Korea in step with US

No sooner did the US beef sector regain access to the South Korean market than Canadian interests began asking for the same access, and an end to a ban that dates back nearly five years.


April 25, 2008
By meatingplace.com

April 25, 2008

Shortly after South Korea agreed to re-open its market fully to U.S. beef, Canada also is asking for unfettered access to Seoul's beef market.

Korea's Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the respective governments are in the midst of setting a time and place for negotiations, according to Yonhap.

The World Organization for Animal Health has deemed Canada a controlled- risk country for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the same classification the organization gave to the United States.

Before Seoul banned imports of Canadian beef on May 21, 2003, following the discovery of a case of BSE in the country, Canada was its fourth-largest source of imported beef behind the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Canada's request comes following April 23rd announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration, in which it published the final feed rule that expands the list of prohibited cattle materials associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Publishing of the new rule comes less than a week after U.S. and South Korean negotiators agreed to a beef-trade protocol that initially allows bone-in and boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months of age. Seoul also agreed to accept bone-in and boneless beef from cattle older than 30 months of age upon publication of the enhanced feed ban rule.

The final rule, to be published in Friday's edition of the federal register, bans cattle parts including:

  • The entire carcass of BSE-positive cattle
  • the brains and spinal cords from cattle 30 months of age and older
  • the entire carcass of cattle not inspected and passed for human consumption that are 30 months of age or older and from which brains and spinal cords were not removed
  • tallow derived from BSE-positive cattle
  • tallow derived from other materials prohibited by this rule that contains more than 0.15 percent insoluble impurities
  • Mechanically separated beef derived from the materials prohibited by this rule

The revised rule, amending FDA's 1997 ruminant feed ban, is aimed at further enhancing safeguards against BSE and will go into effect April 27, 2009. It was proposed Oct. 6, 2005, and FDA said it received more than 840 comments.

The existing rule prohibits the use of certain mammalian-origin proteins in ruminant feed but permits the use of such materials in feed for non-ruminant animals.

"While the prevalence of BSE in the United States is very much lower than in European countries with BSE, evidence from the European experience has demonstrated that, in countries with a high level of circulating BSE infectivity, measures on only ruminant feed were not sufficient to eliminate all transmission of BSE," FDA wrote.