November 6, 2006


South Korea to import Tyson, Cargill, Swift beef soon



Tyson Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions and Swift & Co, top three meat processing companies of the United States would soon export beef to South Korea.


The three companies had been found ineligible to export beef to South Korea earlier this year over food safety measures. The companies hold about a 60-percent market share in the US meat processing industry.


A senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in charge of livestock quarantine confirmed Friday, November 3 that the government had no plan to ban beef imports from the three, despite their possible rule violations. Any US beef exporter has been allowed to export beef to Korea since early September, he clarified though refused to comment whether he was "100 percent certain'' about the safety of meat from US cattle less than 30 months old.


Although the result of the delegates' investigation in the US market was not made public, some Korean lawmakers recently unveiled the list of possible rule-violators.


South Korea has decided to allow imports of boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months as the percentage of symptoms for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad-cow-disease among cattle younger than 30 months comes to 0.05 percent worldwide, according to USDA data.

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