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Shim Jae Hoon

South Korea

Shim Jae Hoon is a Seoul-based journalist and commentator writing for a variety of international publications including YaleGlobal Online, The Straits Times of Singapore, The Taipei Times and Korea Herald. He was a correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review in Seoul, Taipei and Jakarta. Close.

Shim Jae Hoon

South Korea

Shim Jae Hoon is a Seoul-based journalist and commentator writing for a variety of international publications including YaleGlobal Online, The Straits Times of Singapore, The Taipei Times and Korea Herald. more »

Main Page | Shim Jae Hoon Archives | PostGlobal Archives


South Korea's Real Beef

Recent protests aren’t about U.S. beef – they’re about Korean corruption.

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All Comments (62)

my2cnz:

Deaths may be linked to mad cow

Canwest News Service


Federal medical authorities will determine only “in coming months” whether two recent deaths in the Saguenay region attributed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can be pinned to the rare variant linked with mad-cow disease, a geneticist with the Canadian Public Health Agency said Thursday.

A man in his 60s, died around Christmas, and a woman in her 50s died Feb. 11.

Brain-autopsy results aren’t likely to be available for either victim before May or June, said Michael Coulthart, director of the health agency’s division of host genetics and prion diseases.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, known as CJD, has killed a total of 359 Canadians since 1994.

One of those deaths, in 2002, was from the mad-cow variant, known as vCJD, the public health agency says. That victim was a Canadian resident who had lived in the United Kingdom for several years.

There has never been any death from mad-cow disease among lifetime residents of Canada.

Mad cow is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cattle. It is believed to be transmissible to humans who eat infected beef
products.

No definitive diagnosis of any form of CJD can be made except by examination of human brain tissue following death, said Coulthart, so he can’t
definitively rule out mad cow in the two Saguenay deaths until those autopsy results become available.

Coulthart wouldn’t confirm any details of the two Saguenay cases, which had been reported by local media.

Worldwide, 202 human mad-cow deaths had been registered as of April 3, according to the health agency’s website.

“If the disease comes from exposure to infected beef products prior to the ban on specified offal in human food in 1989, as is now widely accepted,
then there could be more cases if the incubation period is very long,” the agency said.

“However, it is currently impossible to predict how many more cases of CJD there will be,” the website added.

Officials at the hospital in Chicoutimi would not answer questions on the two deaths until Friday, said a hospital official responsible for
communications.


A Canadian cow is pictured in a field near Teulon, Manitoba. Federal medical authorities will determine whether two recent deaths in the Saguenay region can be pinned to the rare variant linked with mad cow disease.

Found here:
http://www.canada.com/globaltv/national/health/story.html?id=e1879bdd-9784-49f9-a1a1-f3f8d4d85d02

my2cnz:
my2cnz:

One poster comments:

In fact, a late model Korean car could potentially transport BSE from infected Korean autoworkers...

I think the Korean autoworker would have to urinate in the vehicle in order to transfer BSE. :) Prion's DO survive in urine, as this study shows:

"Science 14 October 2005:Vol. 310. no. 5746, pp. 324 - 326DOI:
10.1126/science.1118829 Reports

Coincident Scrapie Infection and Nephritis Lead to Urinary Prion
Excretion

Harald Seeger,1* Mathias Heikenwalder,1* Nicolas Zeller,1 Jan Kranich,1
Petra Schwarz,1 Ariana Gaspert,2 Burkhardt Seifert,3 Gino Miele,1
Adriano
Aguzzi1

Prion infectivity is typically restricted to the central nervous and
lymphatic systems of infected hosts, but chronic inflammation can
expand the
distribution of prions. We tested whether chronic inflammatory kidney
disorders would trigger excretion of prion infectivity into urine.
Urinary
proteins from scrapie-infected mice with lymphocytic nephritis induced
scrapie upon inoculation into noninfected indicator mice. Prionuria was
found in presymptomatic scrapie-infected and in sick mice, whereas
neither
prionuria nor urinary PrPSc was detectable in prion-infected wild-type
or
PrPC-overexpressing mice, or in nephritic mice inoculated with
noninfectious
brain. Thus, urine may provide a vector for horizontal prion
transmission,
and inflammation of excretory organs may influence prion spread.

snip...

SEE FULL TEXT ;


http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2008/06/transmission-and-detection-of-prions-in.html

miguksaram:

good posts here.
by the way, Mad Cow is a prion, which is a rare protein that reproduces itself by converting a similar precursor found in the host. you can't sterilize it with heat, antiseptics, or antibiotics. In fact, a late model Korean car could potentially transport BSE from infected Korean autoworkers despite legislative safeguards designed to protect Americans from this emerging threat. The safest measure at this time is to declare a 5-year moratorium on Korean car imports until we can establish that 100% of Korean autoworker are BSE-free. I dont think many autoworkers will be signing up for a biopsy, so perhaps if we limit their age to 30yrs, we can work out a deal. I dont know. Its probably safer to walk.

my2cnz:

As one poster just wrote:

"If, however, during the inspection and/or on the market, Koreans did find that there are problems with the imported beef, there are no legal options available afforded by the deal."

Sounds like this administration slipped in yet another one of their infamous preemption clauses, giving the US immunity, which they are becoming so famous for.

If the US really belives there hasn't been a case of BSE since 2003, and only 3 cases to date...why would they fear being held accountable should tainted beef be found?

Liars, the whole lot of them!

MigukSaram:

I love Korea and Koreans, but about half the citizens there are living in an adolecent over-protected emotional-delusional state. They need to grow-up. Cut the umbilical cord and kick them out of the house. Pull out our troops, use the massive trade imbalance as leverage to make a fair trading deal. We have enough problems without having to spoon-feed our so-called allies.

timmy:

The issue is not about American beef per se, but the age of cattle it came from. The US restricts beef being sold in its domestic market to 22 months while anything over 30 months is pretty much used for other purposes like feeds for other livestock, such as pigs, chickens etc...

The issue, I repeat, is not solely about American beef. Koreans were willing to import beef from cattle less than 30 months old, and it was what had been negotiated between the two countries under previous administration. However, this all changed because of the egregious terms accepted by the new administration were to lax and had no restrictive regulations, such as no recourse against the exporter who is in violation of the negotiated terms, and Korea's right to stop the imports in such a case.

What the Koreans were upset at and made people to take to the streets, more than anything, is the way President Lee negotiated the deal. As it is, all inspections were to be done in the US voluntarily and only 2 or 3 percent of all imports should be done by the Koreans as it enters its port. If, however, during the inspection and/or on the market, Koreans did find that there are problems with the imported beef, there are no legal options available afforded by the deal. Mr. Lee, realizing this, had to ask for an added terms, which, in my opinion, is just different wording.

timmy:

The issue is not about American beef per se, but the age of cattle it came from. The US restricts beef being sold in its domestic market to 22 months while anything over 30 months is pretty much used for other purposes like feeds for other livestock, such as pigs, chickens etc...

The issue, I repeat, is not solely about American beef. Koreans were willing to import beef from cattle less than 30 months old, and it was what had been negotiated between the two countries under previous administration. However, this all changed because of the egregious terms accepted by the new administration were to lax and had no restrictive regulations, such as no recourse against the exporter who is in violation of the negotiated terms, and Korea's right to stop the imports in such a case.

What the Koreans were upset at and made people to take to the streets, more than anything, is the way President Lee negotiated the deal. As it is, all inspections were to be done in the US voluntarily and only 2 or 3 percent of all imports should be done by the Koreans as it enters its port. If, however, during the inspection and/or on the market, Koreans did find that there were problems with the beef, there were no legal options available afforded by the deal. Mr. Lee, realizing this, had to ask for an added terms, which, in my opinion, is just different wording.

shhhhh:

Wasn't it a landslide win? Voter's remorse? I thought Lee was going to lead Korea just like Bush did the US. I got to give him his dues though, he's already said publicly he has made mistakes, which Bush has yet to show any signs of ever admitting any false steps.

_kt_:

It's just business. We should negotiate the best deal we can without drama or emotion.

"And informed Americans also know that the U.S. government blocked the attempt by the private company to voluntarily inspect the beef. Why?"

If I remember correctly, it was because the test was useless for detecting prions in cattle at the young ages that were being exported. If one company started to do this test, all would have had to do so to remain competitive. This would have driven up costs for US suppliers, putting them at a competitive disadvantage, while producing no benefit because the test was useless. On the other hand, maybe we should be guided somewhat by the old slogan, "the customer is always right." If these guys are stupid enough to insist on useless tests or age restrictions, if we can still make a profit, and if we can be relatively sure that they are sincerely worried and aren't just trying to impose burdens to cheat on trade, maybe we should just give them what they want.

Koreans have little to fear from mad cow disease in our beef. Look at the stats. Americans are far more likely to be struck by lightning than to contract variant CJD from infected cows. You are far more likely to die from eating Salmonella-infected vegetables. You are even more likely to die in a traffic accident. People like drama and fear comes in fads. If Koreans (and Americans) were really serious about their health, they would stop smoking, drink less, work less (less of a problem in the US), and get more sleep and exercise.

Hyun Park:

In Los Angeles, "Kalbi beef" restaurants are all the rage and mostly run by Korean Americans. Of course, they use US beef....and their relatives that visit form Korea have no worries about it.

david:

as a restaurant owner, i don't care to much about korean importing american beef, because it definately drive the price up here in US.

my2cnz:

Some of the most compassionate people on this planet are animal activists, and now with the passing into law of AETA in Nov. '06 they are now considered 'terrorists.' What a corrupt government we have.

Beware...AB 2296 may very well go into law this Tuesday June 24th if it passes in the California Senate Judiciary Committee. If you live in CA please call your Senators & Congress members NOW telling them you oppose AB 2296, which will in effect silence the voices of animal activists.

California Animal Enterprise Protection Act Threatens Lawful Advocacy

Act TODAY to oppose legislation targeting animal advocates as “terrorists”

California bill AB 2296, known as the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, has passed the state Assembly and is making its way to the state Senate. This bill would have a chilling effect on the rights of animal advocates who are legally and responsibly collecting evidence of animal abuse by people engaged in animal “enterprises.” The enterprises include agricultural use, pet shops and puppy mills, researchers, and other uses of animals.

If this bill is passed, the video footage that revealed abuses at the California slaughterhouse operated by Westland/Hallmark Meat Company may have been unlawful, as the perpetrators of the abusive treatment of livestock may claim that airing the exposé put them reasonably in fear for their safety.

Why does the California legislature want to protect the criminal behavior of employees of animal enterprises at the expense of the public’s right to know that these abuses are taking place?

This bill is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 24th. It is important to contact your state Senator prior to this hearing date! If your state Senator is on the Judiciary Committee, please call without delay!

Senator Corbett (Chair) (Senate District 10)
Senator Harman (Vice Chair) (Senate District 35)
Senator Steinberg (Senate District 6)
Senator Ackerman (Senate District 33)
Senator Kuehl (Senate District 23)

If you are a California resident, please call your California state Senator to let them know that you object to the passage of laws that serve no purpose other than to intimidate animal advocates, since any act of violence is already against the law.

Look up your California State Senator to place a call to your state Senator. Be sure to choose the option for “State Official” at the top of the results page because this is a state, not federal, bill. Or go to the NAVS Advocacy Center to send a letter in support of this initiative.

Lohengrin:

Of course, it is going to hurt us a bit if we ban Hyundai, but so what? Banning our beef hurts some Korean merchants too.

I know I know, we are all in the same boat and it doesn't make sense to shoot holes in the boat just because someone else is doing it. But we are tired of some kids who keep shooting holes in the boat for fun and we are tired of being the scapegoat. We just want to slap the obnoxious kids and teach them a lesson that this is no way to behave.

AmericanSpirit:

Before we even discuss the beef safety in the United States, we have to discuss the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. This law is designed to intimidate and threaten those who want to speak out against bad business practices, if any, of the animal industry in the United States. This is a bad law. It has to be amended.

http://www.stopaeta.org/problems.html

WPak:

The author addresses an issue that looks beyond the surface of the "Beef" Issue. The ban on American beef represented not only beef, but also decoupling from America. President MB did not recognize this anti-American sentiment attached to American beef from the previous administration. He bypassed these public feelings and agreed to importing American beef. But the author points out that Koreans are protesting actually about the political corruption that has plagued from one administration to the next. President MB won by a historical landslide promising Koreans with a pragmatic approach on different issues. But recent events show that his ways are just a perpetuation of old-style Korean politics. The beef issue is only the surface of what Koreans feel about their political system and they want CHANGE.

my2cnz:

Out of sight, out of mind. That's exactly just what the American Beef Industry wants. They will NEVER admit to what extent BSE is running rampant throughout the US. And trust me, it is!

To all you posters who choose to believe the USDA and FDA when they say there's only been 3 BSE cases in the US, think again. I personally know a US Farmer who purchased numerous cattle from Canada, many of which were infected w/ BSE...he's had to 'sue across the border' more than once. The only way for this farmer to dispose of these infected cattle was to incinerate first, then bury them. As diligent as he was in doing this he said that many of his neighboring farmers did not do the same, yet sent their BSE infected cattle to slaughter, knowingly!! All in the name of PROFIT! Just imagine how many other unscrupulous farmers have done the same.

One BSE infected cow gone to slaughter can affect hundreds of humans who ate that meat..only they won't know it for some 15,20 or 30 years, the length prion disease lays dormant.

Trust me, there is an epidemic on the horizon...only 'they' will call it Alzheimer's and not what it is, vCJD - the human form of mad cow.

We should be down on our knees thanking the Korean's for using the 'mad cow' issue to get public attention...all this reporting is finally awakening some American's.

To all the Reporters out there, keep on digging, keep on writing..there is a story out there, one that needs to be told pronto...like 'the fierce urgency of now!'

Read: Brain Trust by Colm A. Kelleher

Read this blog and all subsequent links this blog posts...every scientific study being done on this subject you may find via this blog: http://www.blogger.com/profile/06986622967539963260

Keep on protesting Koreans...keep on keeping 'mad cow' at the forefront of our news! Kudos to you!

AmericanSpirit:

This column is missing a very important fact. Lee Myung Bak is a lifelong Protestant Christian who is an elder of South Korea's mega-church. So he is surrounded by a group of South Korea's mega-church pastors who are extremely wealthy (his own pastor drives a Bentley sports car), corrupt, greedy, politically right-wing, and often controversial. And obviously, he listens to their advices too much. His own public communication adviser who was fired two days ago is an ordained Protestant pastor. And this communication adviser called the protesters "Satan." Imagine a top Bush aid calling the war protesters "Satan." That would put the White House in a very serious trouble.

At the same time, South Korea's so-called pro-U.S. right-wing Protestant Christian leaders also called the protesters anti-U.S., pro-North Korea lefties. And some of them continued to call them "Satan" even after Lee Myung Bak's former aide got into trouble for calling them "Satan."

South Korea's three right-wing newspapers, Chosun, Joongang, and Dong-a (CJD), did warn last year about the possible mad cow disease from U.S. beefs when Roh Moo-Hyun was the president. Now because their favorite conservative Lee Myung Bak decided to import the U.S. beefs, CJD went after the protesters with similar nasty name callings (except that they did not use the "S" word).

Now South Koreans are boycotting CJD. It's not the first time the South Koreans boycotted a particular newspaper. When former Florida Marlins pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim had a clash with a very nasty paparazzo for a sports newspaper named Goodday in 2003 in Seoul, South Koreans protested against the very powerful South Korean media establishment and put Goodday into a serious trouble. A year after, Goodday shut down its business. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/7/3/173849/4653/262/353656

People in the United States should know that those so called pro-U.S. right-wing forces in South Korea are in fact anti-American heretics that Americans should reject. When Larry King asked Al Gore last year if Mitt Romney's Mormon faith is a problem, Mr. Gore said no but he added that there are "some people who want to convey the impression that God belongs, if not to a particular political party, that God has a particular political ideology and that those who disagree with a right-wing approach to this or that are against God. That is an anti-American view. That is completely contrary to the spirit of America. It is an American heresy and people in both parties ought to reject that and fight against it." http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0705/26/lkl.01.html

KEVIN SCHMIDT:

Still, U.S. factory farmed beef is the most unsafe beef in the world.

Not only is the meat tainted with toxins, growth hormones, antibiotics, etc., there is also the real possibility of mad cow disease. Plus, the feed itself causes a dangerous imbalance of the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio in the beef.

If you want good beef, then you should only eat grass fed pastured beef, which is how most of the world raises cattle.

lugan11:

The irony is..

A big story in the S Korean media about 1 year ago was the discovery of high LEAD levels in fish exported from China to Korea. Chinese fisheries had been putting LEAD weights into fish they were exporting to Korea to increase the weight (and therefore income) of their product.

Chinese fish are still being imported into Korea. Where were the candlelight vigils then?

This from my Korean wife who reads chosun ilbo on the net.

Jim:

So, supply-side economics doesn't work in whatever language you pronounce it. A "turd-blossom" by any other name will smell the same (not sweet). When they who have the gold make the rules, disaster is sure to follow. Yet, my fellow Americans need to remember that the Camelot model for presidential cabinets was invented by the Kennedy Administration. And, who is supposed to be the new Kennedy? To buy an American made car is to own a Hyundai, Toyota, or Honda.

Anonymous:

Regarding the statement, "No beef - no Korean cars, appliances etc." Hyundai has a car plant in Montgomery, Alabama. What does the poster have against the US citizens of Alabama?

JND:

Wow! Name calling! Who would have thought that could happen?

Not to worry, though. The US doesn’t have guts enough to retaliate meaningfully, so we get what we deserve.

reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/:

After Tokyo banned American beef, the management team at Creekstone Farms decided to test each animal (that it slaughters for meat) for mad cow disease (MCD). This decision was the decision of a commercial company and is none of the business of the government. Yet, Washington deliberately interfered in the business strategy of Creekstone Farms by prohibiting Creekstone Farms from buying the chemicals that are needed for the tests.

What right does Washington have to interfere in the private decision of an American company in the free market? Creekstone Farms has the right to over-test its products if it wants to do so in order to satisy its customers.

What was Washington trying to accomplish by intervening in the free market? The Republican politicians feared losing the financial support of other American companies that produce beef for domestic and foreign consumption. In order to continue to receive political donations from the beef-producers lobby, the Republican politicians put the screws to Creekstone Farms.

Read "Company's Mad Cow Tests Blocked" @ www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A15855-2004Apr15?language=printer .

A few American companies like Creekstone Farms would have been willing to alter their beef processing to meet the demands of the Koreans. Creekstone Farms would have been willing to test each animal in order to ensure that the probability of eating tainted beef is close to 0. Yet, the American government objects to such an approach and prefers forcing the Koreans to eat beef meeting the lax standards of the typical American producer, which objects to testing all animals.

In other words, the Koreans have a valid reason for their massive protests against both Korea and the USA.

However, we should not overlook the extreme anti-Americanism that is popular in Korea. Most Koreans hate America, and this venomous hatred is the primary driver of the recent protests. The beef issue was a minor instigator of the protests. Read "Terminating the Military Alliance between the USA and Korea" @ theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115794503217846124 .

ole timer:

Yea, and I'm the Mayor of Moscow. This is nothing but classic protestations from Korean students. The way to stop this nonsense is simple:
No beef - no Korean cars, appliances etc. When the student's moms and dads face retribution resulting in losses of job, they'll straighten these kids out. Frankly, it's time for the U.S. to elect a President and Congress that requires that U.S. products and services - and above all, our workers - receive fairness and equality.

timmy:

The problem with Americans is that they hold to the firm belief that the world market is a level playing field, thus any negotiation or agreement has to be equal, or at least seem so. They feel that they have been severely shortchanged in the past because they were magnanimous . However, the reality is that the world market, unfortunately, heavily favors the rich nations. American public needs a serious reality check.

It was not the Korean government who wanted this Free Trade Agreement in the first place. I'm sorry, but the US wanted the agreement more than anything because they needed a partner to counter-balance and protect its interest in the Asian market against the growing economy of China. The whole agreement started precisely because the US cannot lose anymore of its market in Asia against the cheap merchandise from China, as this seems like the trend spreading across the globe.

The only reason why US is still willing to make this agreement possible, despite the beef issue raised by the Koreans, shows that it knows that in the long run there will be more benefits to the US than it is to the Koreans. The negotiation is not so much about Korea as it is about the Asian market. So, before grumbling about a topic you are not sure about, take a deep breath and go out to buy more cheap products from China you so love. Or is it, maybe, mad cow disease is already afoot.

Frank Burns:

Very insightful article which captures what is really happening in South Korea vis-a-vis the beef import issue.

Koreans have a very short fuse as a nation when it comes to tolerating corruption. Yet, they went out of that mold and elected Lee, a poster child for rich, right wing nationalism and reactionary elements. Taking a page from American politicians of that ilk, Lee is hell bent on producing a Korea based on the AEI ideal of no-taxes and anti-union elite.

As Lee is, basically, a Ronald Reagan wanna be Obama and other Democratic leaders might want to be careful in who they support here. Forcing free trade down the Korean throats only makes Lee more powerful, and hurts labor, working people and progressive elements. Or, Democrat's natural allies.

Again, a fine article and a good one for American's to read.

EP Thorn:

Sorry for the double post- I tried to cancel when I realized I misspelled the South Korean president's name. Oops.

ep thorn:

The ignorance on this board is stunning... and the incredibly poor grasp of the English language (even by Americans) is just one symptom of that.

Part of the protests regarding US beef is indeed about fears of "Mad Cow's Disease" (or crazy cow, as they call it in Korea). Some of this is pure myth, spawned by the overactive internet forum boards- you'll notice that it's almost completely young people protesting this move in Korea. Still, it goes beyond that, as evidenced by the incident where an older taxi driver literally self-immolated at a protest.

Deeper concerns regard the new president, Lee Myung-Bak (also known as "2 Megabyte") and his perceived subservience to the unpopular Bush Administration in the US. Korea has long been controlled by larger powers, first China, then Japan (after the US signed a secret agreement in 1905 allowing Japan to 'have' Korea), and in some respects, the United States. To be fair, the relationship with the US has been different and America is still seen as a big brother protector by MANY (thought not all) of Koreans. There have been periods of trouble- especially when two young girls were ran over by an American Armored Personnel Carrier. In general though, if you're an American in Korea, you'll find that people are perfectly friendly except for a few bad apples.

Most Koreans, especially younger ones, do NOT like Bush, however. Then again, you can see that most of the world, including many in the US, share that view- so it's not really fair to call it anti-Americanism.

Back to trade. It's strange how people in the US and Korea both see the FTA as benefiting the other side much more. In reality, it's a fair agreement but one that hurts some people on both sides of the Pacific- and those people become very vocal about their problems. So, yes, you can shut out the importation of any Hyundai cars, but why? If you don't like Korea, why not just buy Ford instead? I would pose the same argument to Koreans (I have, actually) and I do not get a satisfactory answer except for one that claims fears of mad cow's disease. I guess it proves that illogical decisions are made all over the world!

Now, to address a few issues up on the board there:

1) The US military is in the process of removing most troops from Korea. In 1953 there were 500,000 troops there; now there are about 24,000 and by 2012 there will be 12,000. So to those who say we should remove troops, well, that's pretty much what is going on. The US wants to keep (some) troops there to maintain a force in the region; if you think that the US is doing it just for the sake of Korea, you don't know politics at all. There's a little guy called China with a pretty large military that the US would like to keep an eye on; if you remove troops from Korea, China will likely become the dominant power there and the US will lose its strategic foothold.

2) Korea pays a significant cost of US military expenditures for US Forces, Korea (USFK). That said, it is fair to remember that Korea was able to industrialize in the 60s and 70s thanks to the American military presence in the country.

3) You can ban South Korean goods, but their electronics are among the best and cheapest in the world (along with Japan); the same with Hyundai. They are successful in foreign markets (despite tariffs) because they have somewhat cheap labor but relatively high standards (since the 90s, anyway...)

4) Someone asked if other countries are refusing to import US beef. Yes, other Asian countries are. Korea is the first country in Asia to consider allowing in US beef again that I am aware of.

5) As to the dangers of US beef, I consider it slight; of the 3 human cases I know of, all three contracted the disease outside the US or via some other method. That said, I stress that Koreans really do believe that there is a significant danger of contracting this scary disease if the cow is older than 20-30 months. Blame the internet.

Ty:

Bloomberg News reported that Japan imports American beef but only 30 months old or younger. It went from 20 months to 30 months last year. Taiwan also has the same 30 month age restriction for the American beef.
So, it seems like the Koreans are saying how come Japan and Taiwan got the 30 month deal and we didn't.
As for those hotheads wanting to bash Korean cars, are you now going to go after Japanese cars and laptops, pretty much all of which are made in Taiwan?
Maybe we are being fed unsafe beef and don't know about it or are just wanting to not think about it.

Ed:

It is not about beef, it is about anti-Americanism. It is about the huge US base in Seoul. It is about resentment that their self ruled cousins to the north are so lame that they still need the American military in their country.

Larry:

The American Meatheads are so riled up here they can't collect their thoughts well enough to write a coherent sentence, much less a paragraph. Forget about grasping the meaning of Shim's article or the point of view of the Korean public.

Americans may not have mad cow disease, but they can still be brain-dead.

Jati Hoon:

What beef Koreans have about American beef? Answer....It is too old and mean, shame! one cannot be butchered with dignity.

Lohengrin:

The fact is nobody has turned mad cow by eating US beef. How is that safety record?

Can't say the same about Hyundai cars.

If the Koreans have a beef with their health care system or government or what not, don't make us the scapegoat. Frankly, we are tired of being pushed around. We are tired of our government too, especially with GW. I say let's take out our frustrations on the Koreans and ban their cars, starting with the 30months old ones and go from there.

Anonymous:

American Cars kill more than American Beef.

Nym:


South Korea's ban on US beef is a huge insult to the US. It's one that hurts American farm families outside of just the Korean market too. This is not the behavior of friends.

Since *my* family has been hurt by Korean selfishness, I will not speak out on Korea's behalf in the future, or buy their goods.


Pat:

I really wish that the US would stop being the Koreans' private welfare agency. Gads! They default on loans. They don't want open trading, but keep eveything to their benefit. The US needs to just walk away and let them have it their own way...pay full true market prices for what we just so happen to subsidize for them. I agree that we need to get rid of their cheaply made goods--cars, electronics, clothing, etc.--as it is all substandard garbage! Dangerous stuff! Let the Korean people know what the real world is like for a change!

Q-bert:

Korean Cars kill more than American Beef.

Thoamaniac:

If South Korea wants to carry this to the next level of souring relations between populations then the next South Korean visitor I see on the streets better beware.

I say this in light of the new news article about the thousands "still" protesting the USA even after we'd agreed not to ship beef over 30 months of age. You tards got what you wanted now BACK OFF!

Andrew:

I applaud the Democrats for taking the free-trade deal hostage. For too long the South Koreans have been getting the better side of the deal, allowing them to long import their goods basically without a tariff. If they can't even agree to lift the sanction on US beef (which hasn't had any outbreak a long time, and even then the scale of it was miniscule compared to the outbreak in, say, the UK), then why should we allow them to go about this freely? Frankly, we should play hardball trade here. If they want to keep the sanction, fine, we'll raise tariffs. If they want to continue putting tariffs on our goods, then they shouldn't get a free pass. Free trade can be good and all (maybe), but only if its free on both sides, and if they continue to back away from their side of the deal, we have no reason not to ourselves.

berkley:

,,dose,nt MAD COW DEATH,,come from feeding our cows meat..we grind up meat parts of cows and other livestock and feed it to our animals in a mixture of pellets w/grains,,,,thus we have a new diease M.C.D...have they ..usa farmers stop feeding our cow meat when they are by nature vegietarians,,NOPE !!..Wwill they ,,DONT LOOK IT !!,,

Anonymous:

__The US should pack up its troops and go home. Korea is no longer a friend of America.

yeahh.. sure. and then we should do a same with Guam, Hawaii and California. How much re.tarded are you again?

Anonymous:

__if you cook your darn beef ...would you still get mad cow?

For dumb and uneducated idiots like you; BSE cant be killed by coocking.
´
aside that USA food their cows to much medecine. unlike Australians or Europeans.

Anonymous:

__Some Koreans compare the situation to Israel (maybe the reason why Christianity is so popular??

aside a fact that Israel almost killed with his politics whole Christianity in Middle East.

nope. thats not a reason.

andy:

first of all, they don't need US there..so let have our boys home instead of subsidizing their military... if they ever got over run by the North Koerans ..then wish them good luck , since they won't have food just like the north Koerans...so they won't need beef no more.

Second, how many mad cow case in U.S. beef?
1 in 10 million cow? lower?
if you cook your darn beef ...would you still get mad cow? stop eating raw like the japanese that had enslave them for years during occupation before WWII !!

third, since they stop import our beef..can we do the same to their TV, electronoic, memory cards and cheap cars?
Americans are dying in much larger number in their cheaply constructed KIA and Daewoo and Hyundai then Koeran dying eating beef.(if there is anyone)
And their Samsung/LG phones are giving slow brain cancer to all users....
and the TVs.....

that should teach them a lesson.

RKS:

This is about nationalism. Koreans feel humiliated by their continuing dependence on the US so they lash out at any opportunity.

The US should pack up its troops and go home. Korea is no longer a friend of America.

andy:

what a looser.
subject to pressure of protestor.
just like some of my Korera friends say they did the protest back in college years just for fun because everyone is doing it.
how many people truly beileve in mad cow in those beef?
it's such a small % that you probably has a higher chance of getting hit by lightening.
it's all "bull"

Ryan P.:

There are so many factors in play here.

Korean side:
1) President Lee played a dumb game. Even though he calculated numbers (profits FTA can bring, # of jobs, etc) well as he built his career out of doing that, he misjudged the dynamics of trade and international politics, not to mention his own domestic politics. This is an election year in U.S. with a majority of Democrats in Congress. Democrats are not going to risk the election by ratifying dubious FTA's with Korea and Columbia. The waning Bush Administration in the last year of 2nd term will have no power over putting the bill on the Congress floor. We have seen bills such as farm bill are overwhelming Bush's vetoes. There is a clear power shift in U.S. Mr. Lee did not even consider. Maybe he thought he could rush things as he has done just as in his mayoral time but this is the major league of the world, not single-A semi-pros.
2) Mr. Lee's domestic policies are planned for efficiencies, adopting American business models. He views government entities are wasteful at best and by privatizing them the country would be better off. He is correct in economical term but again he is blind to the human side of governing. Those government entities such as medicare, utilities, etc in Korea are highly unionized as well as provide secure jobs for the employees. No one is willing to give up their safe and high paying jobs and with a highly military labor union it's nearly impossible to break them. America has those powerful unions everywhere (UAW, Teacher's, Nurses, etc) as well. Mr. Lee's policies make a lot of sense as Korea wants to focus on the growth but his timing and political maneuvering are really horrible. Privatizations will get started some time later in the administration if Mr. Lee can handle the beef situation. If not, he can kiss his task goodbye to Mars. The beef situation is a perfect vehicle for those people can ride along without putting their face on the front pages.
3) Koreans have this sense of pride/inferior complex/defensiveness. They have a history of being hounded by big guys like China, Japan, U.S., Russia, etc. The sense of pride kept them being acquired by bigger guys. Some Koreans compare the situation to Israel (maybe the reason why Christianity is so popular?? although I know Judaism is totally different from Christianity) So they are often very hostile against the pressure or disrespect however you can call it from outside or above. Now Mr. Lee's government executes the style of the boss who jams the tasks down to the throats of poor employees. There is nothing more offensive to Koreans than being disrespectful. The disrespect, a.k.a hurt the ego, factor pops up in people's daily conversation. No wonder people are extremely unhappy to have the boss telling them what to do. So there goes why political pandering is not so bad.

U.S. side:
1) Read above Korean side 1). It's an election year. The focus is in Michigan.
2) How is this Korean beef thing in terms of priorities in U.S? After election, after Iraq, after Afghanistan, after oil, after Israel, after racism, after sexism, after flag pin, after patriotism, after old age, after hummer chevy cadillar SUV's etc etc... Okay no wonder most Americans don't have capacity to care this thing unless you are from Cargill, Tyson Foods, or Mr. "you-know-who-got-your-back" Bush.
3) FDA is a crap. Many experts in U.S. agree that FDA is stretched very thin. All the new food outbreaks as well as drug fatalities are bogging down FDA. How likely is that FDA can effectively monitor this situation while Salonella is running wild out there? And informed Americans also know that the U.S. government blocked the attempt by the private company to voluntarily inspect the beef. Why? I don't know what is cooking inside but it's not hard to figure out what is at stake, PROFITS.

So there goes a one page term paper on where they are. I see that Koreans are more willing to engage as they think it's more vital to their life while Americans have a laid back attitude on this issue due to more urgent issues out there. It sure sounds like a lot got done in the past week but if someone is not happy (likely those meat packers in U.S.), this will bring a stalemate and may kill the FTA down the road.

Anonymous:

USA should make better medical tests for own Beef production. you slef eat this ill-making sh,it.

inb4 we should cut them off. good luck with that i am sure chinese will be great masters on korean penisila.

ScientistInDC:

It may not be as emotional as it seems. South Korean and America have been friends for a long time. In fact, Koreans love Americans and American goods. There might be a legitimate health concerns.

Korean consumers are more likely exposed to the mad cow disease risks. They big on home-cooked gourmet cuisine. Korean mothers literally touch various beef parts that have high risk factors in order to make gourmet meals.

American politicians understandably are ignorant of this difference. These high risk beef parts do not pose much of a threat to US consumers. For example, in the US, beef or chicken stock is mostly made in factories in the US. Mad cow disease would never transfer through this route because the canned goods are steralized before being shipped.

The US senate and house should care for its constituents and respond to this in a practical manner. The politicions are doing disservice to the US farmers and livestock growers. They are trying abandoning instantaneous $800 million market opportunity for their machomanship.

By US politicians' refusing beef renegotiation or taking the free trade deal as hostage, they are worsening the ever slowing near-recession US economy as well. South Korea supports stronger US dollar by using the dollar currency in their primary reserve.

The US beef industry seems to know better. They already expressed willingness to voluntarily to export younger beef which is perceived safer. Once the Korean public feels that US beef is safe over time, more bigger market opportunity will for sure follow.

People, let's not shoot our friends in the East like Mr. Cheney did. He didn't know. You are right, he didn't know. He almost killed his friend without knowing it. He almost jeopardized his own political career with his careless mistake.

Let's fax your opinion on this to Senator Baucus
(202) 224-0515 (Fax)
or any of your representatives.

Stewart Nusbaumer:

Time to start the banning of Korean industrial products -- first, however, it might be nice if one journalist would find the time to give us the context of this debate. Are other countries importing the beef that Korans won't? What is the scientific evidence that younger are safer than older? How about giving us some facts! Then, if we find the Koreans are being unfair to America, we could put a 30 percent tariff on 80 percent of their imports to this country. Then we should let the Koreans sort out their own mess.

S Sommer:

I am curious.. As someone who also is concerned about Mad Cow disease in beef:

If South Koreans do not want to eat US beef due to their concerns, why not just refuse to buy it?

If nobody buys it, importers will certainly not bring it in, because stores will not stock it.

I only buy organic grass-fed beef and nothing from the huge agri-business suppliers of beef, with their antibiotics, growth hormones, etc.

Can't this situation be controlled by the consumer?

buj:

maybe we should tell korea we're gonna ban hyundai's and kias...

Thozmaniac:

It's not our beef that they've taken to the streets to protest, it's America.
They have jumped on the ever so popular "America bashing bandwagon".

They exported 700,000 cars to the United States last year along with various electronic devices, yet only allow us to import 5000 cars?

Screw em. I couldn't care less if these ungrateful people eat or not.
Call me selfish, but my family comes before these losers do.
Stop all S Korean imports!

By the way, I was very pleased to see Obama, pelosi and Clinton talking about scrapping the free trade agreement with this twisted country.
South Korea...we don't need you. Good riddance.

huffy:

If they don't want our exports then we don't need
theirs. It doesn't have to be that complicated.

ManFromEarth:

I am sorry but Tibet is not a country.

charles swinford ,hillsborough nc.:
It seems to me that the S.Koreans have a right to elect leaders of questionable mental ability and good judgement just as we in the US do!
If they do not wish to take a chance on importing beef from the US, this is their right.
Possibly we should consider raising cattle imported from countries such as Tibet.

Whoever heard of an out break of "mad yak" disease?

June 20, 2008 12:43 PM | Report Offensive Comments

rian:

how does consulting the Korean farm lobby help promote the safety of meat? Who should Mr. Lee consult with to help safety? He already implemented special inspections (beyond normal inspections), there are numerous government bodies (both inside the US and Korea when the beef comes into port).
Japan, the EU and other countries import US beef. Americans eat US beef. What else is Lee supposed to do?
If Koreans want to not import US beef, OK. But there should be a penalty because the Americans have a right to call this decision unreasonable. Hyundae cars, for example, should face stiffer import taxes as a price. As of now, Korea severely restricts US car imports. They cannot have it both ways.

charles swinford ,hillsborough nc.:

It seems to me that the S.Koreans have a right to elect leaders of questionable mental ability and good judgement just as we in the US do!
If they do not wish to take a chance on importing beef from the US, this is their right.
Possibly we should consider raising cattle imported from countries such as Tibet.

Whoever heard of an out break of "mad yak" disease?

charles swinford ,hillsborough nc.:

It seems to me that the S.Koreans have a right to elect leaders of questionable mental ability and good judgement just as we in the US do!
If they do not wish to take a chance on importing beef from the US, this is their right.
Possibly we should consider raising cattle imported from countries such as Tibet.

Whoever heard of an out break of "mad yak" disease?

jim o'connell:

Frankly, I feel it is time to let S. Korea go its own way. We should begin closing down our military installations and bringing the troops home. Would this cause a N. Korean edge toward the boarder. Maybe. The United Nations should be the peace keeper between North and South anway. Our troops should be a part, but just a part. Not virtually the whole force. Here's a good one. Why do we still have 75,000 miltary men and women stationed in Germany? We need that big airbase that is always in the news. Do we need our infantry and armor there?

Shadowrider:

Bravo! Finally someone gets past the smokescreen! I actually asked a Korean coworker of mine why people were taking to the streets over Big Macs in Korea and she let me know that for most Koreans, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Moving to a more American health care system, deregulating the energy industry and things like this are really what have people riled up. Given what happened in California and that our health care system is hardly something the average Korean can envy, I can understand this a lot better. Come to think of it, if somebody told me they were going to take away my healthcare benefits and let my energy company charge whatever they think they can get away with, I'd probably be in the streets too.

berkley:

..i hope so.k never buys another cow from the usa,,everytime japan/so.k or other asia markets rejects our beef,,our prices here at home go down,,so THANK YOU so.k ,,my rib-eye steakes droped over 2.00 a lb..i say stop all farm exports until they match the price of oil !!to heck w/this globalization,WARFARE on the usa!!

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.