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Limited trade backlash expected from U.S. BSE announcement
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Following is a recap of the responses to the U.S. finding its fourth case of BSE, the first in six years, in a dairy cow in central California:
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement, "The beef and dairy in the American food supply is safe and USDA remains confident in the health of U.S. cattle. The systems and safeguards in place to protect animal and human health worked as planned to identify this case quickly, and will ensure that it presents no risk to the food supply or to human health. USDA has no reason to believe that any other U.S. animals are currently affected, but we will remain vigilant and committed to the safeguards in place."
CANADA: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said that The U.S. and Canada have implemented science-based measures to protect animal and human health. The agency also noted that U.S. officials have confirmed that no part of this animal's carcass entered the food system.
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president Dennis Laycraft said there was no reason to for any country to ban U.S. beef as rules for market access are science based.
MEXICO: Mexico will keep its current level of inspections of U.S. beef and there have been no imports from central California where the U.S. case was discovered. "Cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) occur occasionally," Mexico's agriculture ministry said in a statement. "These cases have appeared in different places around the world and don't affect trade between countries."
SOUTH KOREA: South Korea mulled whether to halt inspections of U.S. beef, a move that would essentially have halted imports of U.S. beef. The country will, however, increase quarantine checks of U.S. beef and may take other emergency measures, the country’s Ag Ministry said. "At present, Seoul has not taken steps to halt customs clearance of imported U.S. beef," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a Ministry spokesperson as saying.
However, South Korea's second and third largest supermarket chains -- Home Plus and Lotte Mart – announced they will temporarily halt sales of U.S. beef. "We stopped sales from today," said Chung Won-hun, a Lotte Mart spokesman. "Not that there were any quality issues in the meat but because consumers were worried."