SEOUL, April 1 South Korea will allow certain
levels of animal feed additive zilpaterol in beef from June, a
government official said on Tuesday, opening the door to imports
of some meat containing the growth enhancer and its domestic
Seoul had said in October that restrictions would be eased
sometime in 2014, ending a zero tolerance policy on
zilpaterol-based drugs such as Merck & Co's Zilmax.
The feed additive has been under global scrutiny since a
video emerged in the United States in August showing animals
struggling to walk and with other signs of distress after taking
a growth drug.
South Korea suspended some U.S. beef imports for more than
two months last year after traces of zilpaterol were found in
Son Seong-wan, a director in South Korea's food ministry,
told Reuters that from June the government would allow 1 part
per billion (ppb) of zilpaterol in beef muscle and 5 ppb in beef
He said that compared with levels of 2 ppb in beef muscle
permitted in Canada and 12 ppb in beef liver in the United
He added that 60 days of public hearings on the move had
begun in February.
Many Asian and European countries ban the import of
zilpaterol-fed beef due to concerns about the side effects of
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Joseph Radford)