China reopens border to limited U.S. beef imports
The Chinese government has agreed to accept imports of U.S. beef, but only boneless products from cows under 30 months of age.
China, like many countries, closed its borders to U.S. beef products after the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or “mad cow” disease, in December 2003. Many countries have since re-established trade in U.S. beef.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said he was “disappointed” with China’s announcement. He noted in a June 30 statement that China agreed in April to reopen its market to U.S. beef following the development of a science-based trading protocol, consistent with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.
“We have fully described the numerous safeguards in our system, answered many questions and delivered an abundance of factual, science-based assurances that U.S. beef is safe,” Johanns said.
“It’s time for China to open its market to all U.S. beef products, in accordance with the international standards established by the OIE,” he said.