Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Even More Mad Cow

Unknown to me at the time of the last posting was the discovery of an additional U.S. case of mad cow disease. This time it may cause a halt to U.S. imports of beef to South Korea.

ENS Link

SEOUL (Yonhap) ? The United States has failed to provide the date of birth of a cow linked to a third case of mad cow disease on its shores, a matter that could jeopardize Seoul's resumption of American beef imports, the government said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said Washington forwarded information on the cow Friday but gave no conclusive evidence to indicate its age.

``The data contained expert testimonies by veterinarians, but we cannot determine for certain if the cow was born before April 1998,'' said Park Hyun-chul, head of the ministry's livestock bureau.

The date is significant because if the animal was born after this date, South Korea could halt all efforts to renew imports of American beef. The date is when new measures to prevent mad cow disease went into full effect in the United States.

In March, Washington confirmed the discovery of a third case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease. Seoul placed an import ban on American beef after the first BSE case was discovered in 2003.

Maybe it's tin foil hat time, but could this really be an isolated case? Given the recent discovery of a case in British Columbia, Canada, it seems that more is here than meets the eye.

Of course, if there were more cases to disclose, the beef industry would suffer greatly. But we couldn't let the public welfare get ahead of the interests of big business, could we?


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