December 29, 2003



Indonesia Orders Recall of US Beef and By-Products


Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has called on the country's importers, distributors and retailers to recall beef and its byproducts imported from the United States from the market. BPOM also cautioned the locals from consuming the meat.


"I call on importers, distributors and retailers who currently still have stocks of US beef and its products, not to sell their merchandise to consumers," BPOM Chief Sampurno said on Saturday.


Sampurno said the agency was working closely with the Agriculture Ministry and local farming offices to monitor the entry of US beef and meat products into the market.


"This is our task to protect people as well as livestock, to prevent them from being infected with mad cow disease," he added.


The BPOM was tasked to monitor the import of meat products while the Agriculture Ministry would carry out the monitoring of fresh and frozen beef.


According to Sampurno, the last import of meat products from the US was made by one company last September 23 in the form of 440 kg of meat powder.


Importers, distributors and retailers who refused to withdraw the products from the market would be subject to prosecution under Law No. 8/1989 on protection of consumers, Sampurno said.


Indonesia joined more than a dozen countries in slapping a temporary ban on US beef imports after the US confirmed its first case of mad cow disease.


The decision followed confirmation by a British laboratory on Thursday that a Holstein cow in Washington state had the brain-wasting disease known as bovine spongiform encephalophaty (BSE) or mad cow disease.


Other countries that have temporarily banned US beef include China, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Jamaica, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico.

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