SEOUL, April 25 South Korea will continue to
allow U.S. beef imports after a cow was discovered with mad cow
disease in California, the Korean agriculture ministry said on
It said it will strengthen its quarantine inspections of
imported U.S. beef until the U.S. authorities provide details of
the outbreak situation, but stopped short of suspending
inspections, which would have effectively prevented imports.
"We have requested details from the U.S. side, as we need to
determine which necessary measures should be taken," a ministry
official told reporters.
U.S. authorities reported the country's first case of mad
cow disease in six years on Tuesday and swiftly assured
consumers and global importers that there was no danger of meat
from the California dairy cow entering the food
Two major South Korean retailers have already halted sales
of U.S. beef on the news of the disease outbreak. Lotte Mart, a
unit of Lotte Shopping Co., said it had suspended
sales due to what it said was "customer concerns", as did Home
Plus, a unit of Britain's Tesco PLC.
South Korea banned imports of American beef in 2003
following an outbreak of mad cow disease but eased the ban later
by allowing imports of boneless beef from cattle younger than 30
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho and Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Michael