No BSE-infected Beef Imported from Alabama, Taiwan FDA Reports

TAIWAN - An inspection in July of five beef exporters in the United States determined that they did not procure beef from Alabama or slaughter any animals infected with mad cow disease, an official of Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.
calendar icon 25 August 2017
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Wu Tsung-hsi, an FDA section chief, said the inspection was carried out in the wake of reports that a new strain of mad cow disease case had been discovered in Alabama in July.

According to Focus Taiwan, responding to reporters' questions about a South Korean media report that infected US beef may have already entered the market there, Mr Wu said thorough inspections were conducted after the case of mad cow disease was discovered.

There is no indication that infected beef has been imported into Taiwan, he said.

He said Taiwan has strict criteria for American beef exporters and requires extensive tests to ensure the safety of their products.

The criteria include an on-site veterinarian at the processing plants and examination of the animals before and after they are slaughtered, Mr Chu said.

The FDA has contacted South Korean officials to obtain further information about the situation there, he said, noting that the Korean news report did not cite any government sources.

The story, which was carried in The Korea Times and cited in a report in Taiwan's Liberty Times Wednesday, said the concerns about the importation of infected US beef into South Korea was allegedly obtained from a leaked letter sent by the US Embassy in Seoul to the South Korean government.

The letter which was written by an unidentified agricultural affairs official said it was discovered that a cow, which died 5 July on the way to an Alabama slaughterhouse, was infected with mad cow disease, according to The Korea Times.

The letter was revealed by South Korean lawyer Song Ki-ho of the Lawyers for a Democratic Society who expressed concern about whether meat from similarly infected cows had already reached Korean supermarket shelves.

Mr Song said that had the cow not died before it reached the slaughterhouse, its meat would have been exported.

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