Global Response To BSE Case Encouraging, But Maintaining Exports Still A Challenge

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May 01, 2012

Nearly one week after USDA’s announcement of a new BSE case in California, a partial import ban by Indonesia remains the only official change in market access for U.S. beef. (The Indonesian market remains open to imports of boneless beef cuts from the United States, but has closed to beef variety meat, bone-in muscle cuts and other beef products.) Thailand has not officially informed the U.S. government of a ban on U.S. beef imports, but has publicly announced that trade may be suspended.
 
While Indonesia’s decision is disappointing, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Philip Seng says it was mainly due to Indonesia’s desire to bolster its own domestic beef production rather than actual concerns about BSE. Seng adds that the vast majority of U.S. trading partners have followed sound science and handled news of the BSE case responsibly.
 
Seng cautions, however, that maintaining market access is only part of the battle. In key markets, USMEF staff members have been actively engaged with industry partners, media contacts and other influential sources in an effort to maintain consumer confidence and dispel any misinformation about the safety or quality of U.S. beef. These activities are critical to maintaining consumer demand and protecting U.S. market share.  


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