Inspectors will now only check 3% of imports from the U.S.
South Korea will end special inspections of all U.S. beef imports over the weekend, nearly two months after Washington confirmed its fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Seoul toughened checks on U.S. beef on April 25, when an old dairy cow in central California was confirmed to have come down with an atypical case of BSE.
“The current system of checking half of all beef shipments will be discontinued on Saturday,” the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says.
Inspectors will revert to conducting sample checks on 3% of imports, which is the normal practice.
The ministry said the change in policy comes as hot weather is making it hard to inspect products that must be kept cold, and because other U.S. beef importers do not maintain such rigorous inspection regimes. Opening half of all packages also increased the workload of government inspectors.
The stiffer measures were taken to alleviate public health concerns that tainted beef may be imported in the country.
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