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From: TSS ()
Subject: Seoul not to link rewriting of US beef import rules to FTA: agriculture minister
Date: October 19, 2007 at 8:02 am PST

2007/10/19 17:20 KST

Seoul not to link rewriting of US beef import rules to FTA: agriculture minister

By Lee Joon-seung
SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top agriculture policymaker said Friday that there will be no linkage between plans to rewrite U.S. beef import rules with the ratification of the free trade agreement (FTA) that was signed in late June.
Agriculture Minister Im Sang-gyu told lawmakers that Seoul remained resolute on safeguarding public heath and determined to employ all scientific data to assess risks associated with American beef consumption.
"Seoul has repeatedly made clear that it will approach the U.S. beef import issue in an impartial manner and not be influenced by the FTA," the official told legislators at an annual audit of the ministry.

The remark comes as U.S. lawmakers said new beef import guideline must be in place before they pass the open trade pact with South Korea. Washington has been asking for a revision to the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) since late May.

The current SPS rules, reached in January 2006 lifted South Korea's blanket ban of American beef that went into effect in December 2003. It, however, only allowed the import of boneless beef from cattle under 30 months old. Seoul had banned American beef imports after the discovery of a mad cow case.

Im also said that while the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) classified the U.S. as a "controlled risk" country in terms of mad cow disease, this did not bind countries to unconditionally accept the guidelines.

"The OIE's ruling is based on scientific analysis, but it is not a binding recommendation that must be adhered to," the senior policymaker said.

The designation technically allows the U.S. to export most cow parts, including skulls, vertebrae and brains.
He said the livestock quarantine consultation committee met several times since July to provide rational evidence to allow Seoul to maintain some limits on U.S. beef imports.

The two country's held a working level technical meeting of beef experts last week to exchange views on the rewriting of the SPS, but made no headway, because the United States wanted all restrictions lifted on American beef.

South Korea countered that while it will allow bone-in beef like ribs into the country, it wants to maintain the 30 month age ceiling and limit import of specified risk materials (SRMs). SRMs -- which include backbones, head bones, brains, spinal cords and certain organs -- are blacklisted because they pose the greatest risk of transmitting mad cow disease to humans.

Sources inside the ministry said South Korea and United States will hold more talks in November with the aim of resolving outstanding differences.

"The U.S. must make compromises on its demand in order for any deal to be made," said a negotiator, who declined to be identified. He said Seoul was keeping close tabs on how the U.S. conducted beef talks with Japan and Taiwan.

He said U.S. beef exporters and South Korean importers have much to gain if Seoul and Washington reached an understanding on the SPS issue. Ribs accounted for roughly 60 percent of all beef import before 2003.

He further said that there is a chances of a compromise being reached within the year that could allow wider beef products to be imported.


PLEASE NOTE IN USA CJD UPDATE AS AT JUNE 2007, please note steady increase

1 Acquired in the United Kingdom; 2 Acquired in Saudi Arabia; 3 Includes 17
inconclusive and 9 pending (1 from 2006, 8
from 2007); 4 Includes 17 non-vCJD type unknown (2 from 1996, 2 from 1997, 1
from 2001, 1 from 2003, 4 from 2004, 3
from 2005, 4 from 2006) and 36 type pending (2 from 2005, 8 from 2006, ***
26 from 2007)

flounder wrote:
The Koreans have every right to be concerned with mad cow disease in the
Especially since this administration has done every thing they could to
cover mad cow disease up, especially the atypical h-BASE strain documented
in Texas and Alabama. Course, the USDA has systematically played this down
in the media. they dont tell you there is great concern for the h-BASE mad
cow strain and it's relations to human as in the sporadic CJD type. you
probably have not heard of the latest 5 documented cases of the Nor-98
atypical scrapie cases documented in the USA in 2007 either, and there
potential ramifications to transmission to humans as the sporadic CJD
sub-type. your probably not aware either that CWD is literally at the border
of Texas, just across in New Mexico. TSE knows no boundaries. nope, just
cannot blame the Koreans. there just trying to protect there consumers,
unlike what the USA does, here, it's all about trade, and the BSE MRR
policy, the legal trading of all strains of TSE. ...

snip... see full text ;

Foreign Policy In Focus | Postcard from … Seoul

Dear Terry S. Singeltary Sr. My name in Seoungwon Lee and
I work for National Assemblywoman (MP) Sang-Jeong Sim,
in South Korea. Below is a message from Mr. ...

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

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