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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Beef ban

From AP-

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea has effectively suspended U.S. beef imports over mad cow concerns after a recent shipment was found to have contained banned parts, a news report said Thursday.

The Agriculture Ministry said it halted quarantine inspections of American beef shipments Wednesday after finding a banned vertebral column in a recent shipment, Yonhap news agency reported. Without such inspections, the beef cannot be brought to market.

The banned part is considered a "specified risk material" that could carry mad cow disease.

South Korea shut its doors to American beef in December 2003 after mad cow disease — or bovine spongiform encephalopathy — was found in cattle in the U.S. It partially reopened its market last year but agreed to accept only boneless meat from cattle under 30 months old, thought to be less at risk of carrying the illness.

Although there have been other imports of U.S. beef since the ban was relaxed, South Korean consumers had not been able to buy the meat at regular supermarkets until last month.
This ban has nothing to do with banned parts or risk material, but protecting Korean beef against cheaper foreign competition. GI at ROK Drop has said so in several posts, this one being one of the more recent.

Bureaucrats and politicians are alike all over the world when it comes to trade and protectionism. Banning foreign products or placing tariffs on goods, only makes consumers have less money to spend. There is a demand for US Beef in South Korea.

The prices of beef, pork and chicken are all falling in the aftermath of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement. U.S. beef imports are still minimal but just the expectation of a full fledged import onslaught is weighing heavily on domestic meat prices. It's good news for consumers but bad for Korean farmers.

The National Statistical Office says prices of pork and both domestic and imported beef fell together for the first time in eight years in the April-to-June quarter. Domestic beef prices slipped 2.0 percent and foreign beef 3.7 percent year-on-year, while pork dropped 6.9 percent.
US beef even helps lower prices for Korean beef.

Bottom line- A handful of Korean farmers are being helped but a much larger group of Korean consumers are being hurt. Why is that good news for the consumers in the ROK?

At least this guy will be happy.

Members of civic groups opposed to the sale of U.S. beef throw cow manure inside the Lotte Mart Sangmu branch in Gwangju yesterday. Newsis, which transmitted the photo, blurred their faces. Lotte Mart introduced U.S. beef yesterday, the first time a nationwide supermarket has sold it in more than three years.
Linked to- Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid, Webloggin,

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