An agreement between Seoul and Ottawa has set the stage for the resumption of Canadian beef imports to Korea, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says. The import of Canadian beef has been banned since May 2003 when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in that country.

The countries will suspend a World Trade Organization dispute settlement process and Canada will withdraw its claim against Korea when imports resume.

Under the blueprint, Korea will permit the import of Canadian beef, including bone, from cattle younger than 30 months of age.

However, the scope of banned materials will be stricter than it is for American beef, and Korea will hold more leverage in implementing contingency measures if BSE breaks out in the country.

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