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From: TSS ()
Subject: 68 Lawmakers Call for Ban on US Beef Imports
Date: September 11, 2007 at 7:50 am PST

09-11-2007 18:50

68 Lawmakers Call for Ban on US Beef Imports

By Kim Yon-se
Staff Reporter

A group of 68 lawmakers Tuesday submitted to the National Assembly a resolution urging President Roh Moo-hyun and the government to impose a ban on imports of beef from the United States as early as possible.

The 68 include 28 lawmakers of the pro-government United New Democratic Party (UNDP), 25 of the main opposition Grand National Party and nine of the Democratic Labor Party.

``President Roh and the government should suspend the import of U.S. beef immediately,'' the resolution said. ``We have no choice but to raise suspicions if the government is exercising its `quarantine sovereignty' righteously.''

Despite the number of sanitary rule violations of the U.S. reached a critical level, the government has failed to suspend imports and only took a lukewarm attitude, it said.

They also pointed out the situation in which the government did not take any measures after specified risk material (SRM), which could be a factor for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) also known as mad cow disease was found in a batch of beef shipment on July 29.

``(After stopping the import), the government should not lift the ban until the safety of U.S. beef was proved scientifically,'' the resolution said.

The legislators also said the U.S. is still feeding cattle bone meal, which could cause mad cow disease, while Japan and European countries are refraining from doing so.

American consumer advocates are also sounding the alarm over potential risks of consuming U.S. beef.

Their criticism is based on the alleged laxness of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in screening cattle at the risk of being infected with BSE.


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