NCBA Statement on Beef Trade with South Korea
DENVER - “America’s cattlemen are truly disappointed by this setback in our ongoing efforts to normalize beef trade with South Korea. We remain committed to producing the safest and highest-quality beef and beef products for consumers, here at home and abroad.
“U.S. and South Korean officials developed a strict protocol for exporting U.S. beef to South Korea, and the U.S. cattle industry is insistent that this protocol be followed to the letter. These shipments were standard U.S. bone-in beef products destined for our U.S. market or other export nations, but sent to South Korea. We are asking that the USDA conduct a full investigation of this incident to determine where the breakdowns in protocol occurred.
“It’s important to remember that this is not a food safety issue – as the beef shipment was perfectly safe – but rather an issue of adhering to South Korea’s particular export verification (EV) standards of accepting only boneless products at this time. All of these products were fully inspected by the United States, deemed safe and approved for sale.
In recent weeks, Korean consumers have proven their trust in and desire for high quality U.S. beef products. America’s cattle producers are ready, willing and enthusiastic about providing more and more beef to Korean consumers.”