First, South Korean officials examined the first shipment of beef from the U.S. for more than a month before banning it because they found some miniscule bone fragments. Then on Friday, South Korea refused the second shipment -- this from a different company -- on the same grounds after about a week's worth of inspection.
"The ongoing saga to regain our lost export opportunities in South Korea has reached a new and unjustified road block with Korea's recent rejection of the first two shipments of U.S. beef to reach its coast," said representatives of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) last week. "With Korea's promise to resume imports of U.S. boneless beef, it appeared we were making progress. However, it's now clear these were empty promises, as South Korea simply refuses to play by the rules. Their partial reopening has been an uphill battle since the beginning of the year and the recent shipment rejections due to miniscule bone fragments is simply the last straw."
With that in mind, NCBA president, Mike John, sent a letter to President Bush asking his help in resolving the matter. NCBA is asking its members to write letters to the president along the same lines.