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South Korea Reinstates De Facto Ban on U.S. Beef

After a shipment of U.S. beef included banned rib bones, South Korea decided to stop issuing quarantine certificates for U.S. beef for now.

A recent shipment of U.S. beef to South Korea included banned rib bones. After Seoul found out that the shipment had been meant for domestic consumption rather than export, South Korea decided to stop issuing quarantine certificates for U.S. beef until it receives an explanation and assurances that it won't happen again.

South Korea began accepting U.S. beef for the first time since 2003 this year, but only for boneless meat from cattle younger than 30 months, due to its concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Last week, Seoul asked the U.S. for an explanation when it found rib bones in two boxes of a 15.2-ton shipment. South Korea suspended imports from the Cargill plant that processed the meat, and after finding out that the shipment - and another larger shipment from Tyson - were meant for domestic consumption, Seoul decided to stop issuing quarantine certificates for U.S. beef, preventing it from clearing customs.

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