Korean officials in US for inspection of mad cow conditions
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- A team of Korean government officials and civilian experts arrived in Washington Monday to collect information on the latest case of mad cow disease in the United States.
The 10-day trip by the eight-member delegation comes amid renewed worries among the Korean public over the safety of U.S. beef after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, was reported on the California dairy farm last week.
The Korean government vowed to toughen quarantine measures against U.S. beef, but it has faced continued pressure to suspend imports altogether.
"The inspection team will visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday and meet related officials, including John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinarian," the Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.
The team, led by Joo E-suk, in charge of quarantine affairs at the ministry, plans to go to Iowa later Tuesday for discussions with officials at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, it added.
The delegation will also tour some dairy farms, slaughterhouses and fodder plants for sample checks of safety standards, it said.
"After returning to South Korea, the government-civilian team plans to submit a report on the results of its visit," the official said. "What is most important is whether American beef consumed in South Korea are safe to eat or not." (Yonhap)