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South Korea Proceeds With Beef Inspections, but Holds Sales

After a shipment contained rib bones, South Korea said it would stop accepting U.S. beef, but now will allow shipments while withholding the product from commerce.

Rather than suspend quarantine inspections of U.S. beef product, South Korea is proceeding with the inspections, but withholding product from commerce until USDA can confirm that a pair of U.S. shipments to Korea containing banned bone "was an isolated incident," according to USDA Press Secretary Keith Williams.

South Korea rejected the two shipments, sent by San Diego-based distributor Am-Mex, after inspectors discovered the product contained banned rib bones. The shipments were labeled "for domestic use only."

As a result of the snafu, "Korea has asked USDA to go back and verify previous shipments of U.S. beef that were sent to Seoul," Williams told Williams declined to speculate when verification will be completed, but emphasized that USDA is more concerned with the quality of the information it provides Korea than with setting a timeline.

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