Korea-US reaches agreement

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Monday, March 12, 2007

At the high level agricultural talks held in Washington on 5 and 6 March, South Korea agreed that it would alter its quarantine standards over banned bone fragments.

Under the agreement, bone chips will still be unacceptable but Korea offered to return only boxes containing bone chips and not the whole shipment.

According to the statement issued by the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the US did not oppose the compromise but did not appear satisfied. The US expressed scepticism over whether US beef producers would again attempt to export beef to Korea following the rejections.

The meetings were held to resolve outstanding agricultural issues that have been a sticking point in bilateral free trade negotiations, such as farm produce liberalisation.

According to Yonhap News, the US adhered to its previous position that their beef is safe for consumption and that South Korea should open its doors to bone-in beef.

Korean officials maintained that the US should respect the agreement reached in 2006 which allows only boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months year old. Korea will continue to inspect all boxes shipped.