||Last Updated: Dec 6th, 2006 - 12:50:06
South Korea rejected a third batch of beef imported from Iowa, USA after bone chips were found in a package.
The 10.2 tonne shipment of imported beef along with two early shipments will be returned, Reuters cited the agriculture ministry as saying.
South Korea will continue importing beef from other U.S plants while imports from the Iowa plant will be temporarily suspended, according to Reuters.
South Korea, once the third largest market for U.S. beef, lifted its 3-year ban on U.S. beef imports not long ago.
After the ban, South Korea agreed to accept beef only from cattle 30 months of age or younger because of concern about the risk of mad cow disease. But risk material such as brains and spinal cords should not be present in any products or packages.
S. Korean officials said that any shipments would be rejected if once bone fragments were found although the country is open to beef from all the U.S. plants.
In response to the S. Korea's rejections, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns issued a statement today saying "South Korean officials are determined to find an excuse to reject all beef products from the United States."
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