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From: TSS ()
Subject: South Korean Minor Party Launches Anti-U.S. Beef Campaign
Date: November 14, 2006 at 7:55 am PST

Today 11/14/2006 6:40:00 AM

South Korean Minor Party Launches Anti-U.S. Beef Campaign

SEOUL (AP)--A left-leaning South Korean opposition party launched a campaign Tuesday to buy up and destroy U.S. beef, expected to go on sale soon now that a three-year import ban has been lifted.

The Democratic Labor Party claims that the beef could be tainted by mad cow disease, and that the government's safety measures are insufficient to ensure public safety. The party said it would raise about KRW100 million (US$107,000) to purchase the entire first shipment of nine tons of U.S. beef, which arrived in South Korea on Oct. 30.

The shipment is undergoing health inspections and could go on the market as early as this weekend. "We should never import American beef that has the danger of mad cow disease," said Rep. Kang Ki-kap, a farmer-turned-lawmaker, at a news conference launching the campaign.

The party, an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy, said it would contact the meat importer, but it was unclear if the importer would agree to sell. South Korea shut its doors to U.S. beef imports in December 2003 after the first reported U.S. case of mad cow disease.

The country was the third-largest foreign market for American beef before the ban. In September this year, South Korea reached full agreement with the U.S. to reopen its market to American beef.

Scientists believe mad cow disease, formally called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, spreads when farmers feed cattle recycled meat and bones from infected animals. It is also believed to be linked to a rare, fatal human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.


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