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U.S. cattle organs, ground beef barred until 2022: expert

2012/08/04 22:36:59

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) Cattle organs and ground beef from the United States will be barred from import to Taiwan until 2022, a veterinary expert said Saturday, citing a domestic food sanitation law.

Article 11 of the Act Governing Food Sanitation prohibits such imports from places with cases within the last 10 years of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, said Yang Ping-cheng, head of the Animal Technology Institute Taiwan.

He made the remark following a final U.S. report confirming that no products from the carcass of a dairy cow infected with mad cow disease in April had entered the human food chain.

Moreover, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture final report, released a day earlier as required by the World Organization for Animal Health, the infection was atypical BSE -- one that did not result from infected cattle feed -- and an isolated case.

The U.S. is obliged to inform Taiwan of its final investigation results of mad cow disease in compliance with a bilateral agreement on the beef issue.

On April 24, the carcass of the dairy cow in California was confirmed to have BSE by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

BSE is fatal to cows and eating infected meat can cause a fatal brain disease in humans known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It was the fourth BSE case in the U.S. since 2003.

Taiwan's Legislature passed amendments to the food safety act last week allowing the banned drug ractopamine in beef, opening the way for U.S. beef imports containing the leanness-enhancing livestock feed additive.

(By Chen Ching-fang and Scully Hsiao)