Mad Cow Disease In California Leads To S. Korea Boycott

Yesterday we reported about a discovered case of mad-cow disease in California and while the USDA said the disease can not be transferred to humans through dairy consumption, several South Korea grocery officials on Wednesday still announced the boycott of American beef.

The boycott was announced by two of the country’s largest grocery chains who have “temporarily halted” US beef imports into the country.

Speaking to the Associated Press a spokesman for the countries third largest chain said the meant was pulled because”

“Not that there were any quality issues in the meat, but because consumers were worried.”


South Korea you may recall was one of the Asian countries that stopped selling US beef in 2003 after the first case of mad cow disease was discovered, the country waited until 2008 to once again start selling US beef, a decision that even half a decade later was met with protests in the streets.

In the meantime US officials have worked hard to let everyone know they are in no danger and that the isolated case was found during routine USDA testing and dealt with. USDA officials have however promised to share data with Canada and Europe because this appears to be the first case in which mad cow disease was contracted when the dairy cow did not eat tainted cow feed.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Japan has also promised not to pull the beef from its store shelves at this time. In 2003 Japan accounted for 47% of US beef exports and then banned the meat until 2008. Sales in Japan have been recovering but a ban on the meat for a second time would have been devastating to US beef suppliers.