Chuck Lambert, USDA Deputy Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs, issued a statement Thursday regarding U.S. beef trade with South Korea.
South Korea has lifted its ban on U.S. beef imports, originally put in place in response to the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also called 'mad cow disease,' in the U.S. in 2003. However, Lambert would like to see South Korea lift some of its remaining restrictions on U.S. beef.
"South Korea has responded to our request for clarification of their beef trade restrictions," Lambert says. "It is a positive step forward that South Korean leaders have agreed to remove silver skin from their list of prohibited items and have agreed that cartilage, breast-bone and bone chips would not be considered specified risk material."
"However, I am very disappointed that they have been unwilling to establish commercial tolerance levels for bone chips and cartilage. Tolerance levels have been established with many other trading partners.
"I will be traveling to Seoul in coming weeks to continue the discussions with South Korea in hopes of resolving the remaining issues. I look forward to the opportunity to encourage South Korea to provide greater clarity regarding the conditions of beef trade between our countries."