Korea Determined to Continue US Beef Imports, Netizens Furious

Korea has decided to continue importing US beef, despite a new case of BSE being confirmed

The US Ministry of Agriculture confirmed on April 24 that BSE, or mad cow disease, had once again been discovered in cattle in central California. Despite concern in South Korea that it would be unsafe to continue consuming beef imported from America, on April 25 the South Korean government confirmed that imports of beef would continue unhindered. This has become one of the hottest topics online, and has attracted the attention of thousands of netizens, who have beef with the government’s decision to take no action.

Mad cows have made the news in South Korea before. In 2008, the Lee Myung Bak administration had promised that should BSE be discovered in the US, then imports would immediately cease. But now it appears that the beef curtain has risen once again, leading to criticism from citizens that the government has abandoned its right to quarantine imports. As a result, large supermarket chains and restaurants have decided to temporarily stop selling or using American beef.

Supermarket notice advising customers sales of US beef will be suspended from April 25

However the government maintains that regarding the current crazy cattle crisis, no further action is necessary. Yeo In-hong, the head of food product policy in the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, stated on the 25th that

Regarding the imports of beef, the US will strengthen quarantine measures. We have requested a detailed report concerning cows [infected with] BSE from the Americans[…] We are concerned about trade conflicts, and we will not institute import restrictions such as quarantine and interruption of trade

The government stance in 2008 was somewhat different, when candle-light rallies held throughout the nation resulted in an embargo on imports of American beef to reassure Koreans following the very public outrage that the government was more concerned with currying favour with the US than it was with the health of its citizens. Now that the election is over, many netizens are once again having a cow over the administration’s decision to stay with the herd over US imports.

Comments from Daum:


If mad cow disease is a health concern, then they shouldn’t oppose the import of US beef, rather isn’t it necessary that we should worry about more basic things? If it is a health risk, then it is right that we insist that just as in Japan and the UK, there is a full investigation of all beef products including cattle, and not only imported beef but the circulation of all beef within Korea. After doing a survey of all cattle, if there are cows which are a problem, they shouldn’t import them, and if by chance there is a problem with Korean beef, we shouldn’t eat it. It’s being insisted that really it’s for the benefit of our health, but since the election is close, there are plenty of bastards who do dirty things and who’ll try to use it politically. Dirty bastards.


Though now that they’ve found another [infected cow] America is also carrying out a thorough investigation, haven’t they tried thinking about unconditionally interrupting imports?


Oh My! People oriented towards Daum and Hankyoreh have started the BSE rumour again, I see. Inciting a candle-lit vigil oooooooooo I bet they’re wetting their pants…


Before talking trash like this, you should first find out the facts properly.There are so many pathetic people about…If you blame others, you should first know that it’ll come back to you ~~~~


There has never been a crazier cow administration that Lee Myung-bak’s…


Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province…Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….Let’s eat it…we even did well at the election…give plenty to people in Gyeongsang province….


They’re crazy! They said on CNN, didn’t they? That there are three nations in Asia that import US beef, and that the problem is biggest in Korea. The Japanese said they weren’t importing weird cows for twenty months…


My fellow countrymen! Get your candles once again and this time definitely! Let’s get rid of that bastard swindler Lee Myung Bak


In the capital, it’s best if Park Won-soon avoided ceasing trade, and in Gyeonggi province after the resignation of Kim Moon-soo, it’s best if they avoid electing someone from the opposition party in the by-election. But Gyeongsang province they are thankful for American produced cattle, and eat it, but anyway it makes to difference really if their brains rot because of BSE. In this situation, there’s no way that those who voted for the bird-shit party [pun on Saenuri Party] are right in the head.

봄이여 오세요:

Sir MB, I am embarrassed to be a Christian with you.


Fuck…it’s not a lie, it’s harder to look for it……


This is incredible. They’ve discovered BSE but they’re still importing it? Ke ke ke ke


Isn’t it true that they still can’t export pork from America because of foot and mouth disease…


ke ke ke ke ke ke ke Are we a colony? ke ke


This useless administration is acting entirely for America’s benefit. Thoughtless administration that thinks of its own citizens as being in its service of the company. They’re worthless human beings.


It’s always like this. Lee Myung-bak can’t communicate with the people and has a one-way parasitic foreign policy.


Sell it only in Gangnam [affluent part of Seoul]…especially in the area where they voted for Kim Jong-hoon [lawmaker who led negotiations on beef in 2008]


Even though there is definite proof that crazy administration still plays innocent.


Mr. President Lee Myung-bak is a really proud American who thinks of the benefit of his nation above all else.

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  • Brett Sanbon

    I would like to see a candle-light vigil, it makes me laugh to see silly stuff like that happen over beef imports. Obviously, it is time to be more cautious, but there is nothing to suggest that anyone in Korea or the US is in risk of eating BSE contaminated meat.

    I still say that Korean beef tastes much better than American beef. If you are on a budget, the US beef is fine to eat and a bit cheaper too. Best to get an “in” with a local butcher to get the freshest meat around.

    • James

      Exactly. Locally-sourced food is obviously going to taste better wherever you are. Korean and American cows taste the same because… they’re both cows. But if you exported high-quality Korean beef to New York, freezing it in transit in the process, it probably won’t taste as nice.

      • Bruce Tutty

        There’s nothing wrong with freezing meat, if sealed it improves the texture, without affecting the flavour.

  • Killswitch

    Someone should let the netizens know that they dont have to eat American beef. Australian beef is clearly marked in the supermarkets.

  • Jeolla Man

    It’s hilarious to see how the Koreans are reacting to this; they really are a nation of hypochondriacs.

    I always buy US beef. Much cheaper than Korean beef and I can’t say I’ve ever really noticed a benefit to buying Korean beef.

    • Bruce Tutty

      Less pharmaceuticals, but that won’t affect the flavour.

  • Joey

    Not only is it just one cow, but it’s a dairy cow as well. You’re not gonna find those at your local butcher shop…

    • Bruce Tutty

      in the US?…sausages once their dead

  • Bryan

    I was going to buy a Hyundai but, I think I will stick with an American car.
    You don’t want to buy American stuff, we wont buy Korean stuff.

    • James

      Mad car disease.

    • acorn

      i think the anxiety was over the parts that korean people like to eat – parts near the spine, back, etc…. where, if BSE is found, the prion are quite dense. The soup parts are particularly vulnerable to transmission of BSE through consumption.

      As for hyoon-dei, ehhhhh. why not Japanese or German?

    • Bam Wam

      To be fair, Hyundai’s are universally known as pieces of shits.

      • Bruce Tutty

        No, huge american gas-guzzlers are shit…so for you this must be about how they look, rather than how much better they perform.

        • Bam Wam

          Haha, why are you so mad, no where in my post did I mention that American cars are the best, good job at losing face. For the record, I own a Honda.

    • chucky3176

      That’s only going to hurt US workers in Alabama and Georgia.

  • lonetrey

    “봄이여 오세요:

    Sir MB, I am embarrassed to be a Christian with you.”

    The fuck does that have to do with anything? I’m embarrassed that this poster thinks this how to represent.

  • 소지섭

    Np I only eat samgyeopsal anyways

  • Archi

    My fellow Koreans and Asian,

    Check out what is inside American Beef. They call it pink slime.
    You will need an understanding of English to get this video report.


    • Brett Sanbon

      Pink slime is a beef additive that McDonalds uses. It is not “American beef”.

      • acorn


        i wish i did not actually know about this pink slime thing….

        • Brett Sanbon

          Gross right? In Canada it is illegal to use.

          • acorn

            ok, remind me not to eat burgers there…. so sad…. why they must put that pink slime, prolly cuz it saves them a few dimes :(

      • Archi

        “…added into 70% of all ground beef sold in supermarkets of the U.S.” Oh sure, just McDonald’s. Safeway Inc and SuperValu Inc, now add Walmart and Sam’s Club to that list. Three giant meat processing plants, Pink Slime Plants, or Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) have been shut down, with more to follow.

        Brett, what are you trying to pull here? American is not the usual sentimental stigma of prejudice, but a descriptive of an industry practice where the USDA allowed meat previously classified as DOG FOOD into the industrial food system, the American industrial food system since the year 2001.

        How Pink Slime becomes parts of American Ground Meat (gross alert)

        Done-and-done. Let’s go celebrate by choking down some pink slime meats!

        • Brett Sanbon

          Thanks didnt know that. Are you insinuating that I have some sort of agenda? Also the entirety of American beef cannot be limited to only ground beef products as was how you phrased your first comment.

          On another note I never buy preshaped hamburgers anyways. Regardless of pink slime or none, I prefer grinding, seasoning, and shaping the slab of meat myself.

          • acorn

            funny that US meat industry seems to have fended off the strict liability clause to this day. well, actually US meat industry, along with now pretty much everywhere else (South Korea included), is pretty indefensible….. i am pretty unequivocal about that…. being a meat-eater, i really do hope i was not.

      • Bruce Tutty

        No, it’s mechanically recovered meat, and yes, it is american beef.

        • Brett Sanbon

          Let me rephrase. It is an additive, made from beef. As far as I know pople dont go around only frying up pink slime. Places mix it in with ground beef to get more for the money.

          Bruce, we can extract and concentrate orange juice but we dont call it an orange. Beef is beef and if anyone ever tried to feed me a slime burger I would slap ’em.

      • WhiteIsPoison

        Look at this inbred spreading false facts. McDonald’s supposedly doesn’t use that shit, although that’s not the point. Because media outlets have constantly been talking about pink slime, the top meat distributor is looking to sue. So if anything, it IS used in American beef.

  • Snarl

    I guess Koreans want beef prices to skyrocket. Or perhaps this is just good ol’ anti-Americanism thinly veiled behind a paranoid fear of BSE (the fact that they import any food product at all from China without complaint kind of spoils their whole safety first shtick).

  • chucky3176

    This is much more serious than the Americans would like to admit. The outbreak in California has been confirmed as a very serious and highly contagious strain of Mad Cow disease, the type “L”.


    This is not a naturally occurring strain that was first reported. This is the same strain caused by feeding cows with animal parts and animal feces. It seems to me, the US still has not eliminated the dangerous practice, and they have not learned their lesson. Actually, if you look at the dodgy practices by US beef industry, you would realize Koreans have a right to be concerned about the safety of US beef, not just for Mad Cow, but also for hormone growth injections and vaccinations against cow diseases that may negatively effect the health of humans who eat them.

    As it turns out, the US only inspects 30,000 cows out of 9 million cows slaughtered every year for Mad Cow. This is an appalling rate of inspections, which is virtually same thing as not really inspecting seriously. Now there are increasing voices amongst US beef industry observers to make inspections sturdier and studies to be fortified, after this outbreak. This outbreak of one case in California is suspected to be the tip of the iceberg of a magnitude of problems if they start inspecting a lot more cows. Unsurprisingly, the US beef industry is fighting tooth and nail, through lobbies of US congress, against any kind of regulations or inspections. We all have to be concerned, what is the US feeding their citizens, and the people overseas who are being fed.


    • Brett Sanbon

      You should just change your name to “Nate” as you cant form any of your own opinions. All you do is relay news from other sites. I know how to use the interwebs too.

      • Chucky3176

        I did give you my opinion. I don’t know what you want from me.

        • Brett Sanbon

          That is exactly what I want. I’m never going to click on some stupid article that shows one side of a story (related to this topic or any other previous or succeeding topics).

          Just post your opinion and stop making this website a debate site. We can banter until the cows come home, but just posting links from news sources is boring. That is what the news sites are for. This is a forum for conversation so lets keep it interesting.

  • Truck Furniture Maker

    Honestly, I am fine with THOUGHT OUT criticism against the U.S., but the criticism of U.S. beef has been ridiculous. First, more people died in Korea protesting U.S. beef than from U.S. beef. Second, mad cow disease is a nervous system disorder and you can only get it through eating parts of the cow 99% of the U.S. doesn’t eat and that is banned from import to Korea. Third, U.S. beef and food testing is far and away better than many countries; including Korea in many areas. I frankly feel safer eating U.S. beef than Korean beef. Now if you want to criticize the U.S. having corn syrup in everything I completely agree.

    • Truck Furniture Maker

      I will add if they said it was to preserve Korean beef business, rather than fear mongering I would disagree; but at least respect that.

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