NOBULL: Korea’s detection of zilpaterol ZILMAX in U.S. beef won’t cause impasse: USMEF (So the active ingr edient is in the meat we eat.)

Korea’s detection of zilpaterol in U.S. beef won’t cause impasse: USMEF

By Tom Johnston on 10/10/2013

South Korea’s finding of zilpaterol in a shipment of U.S. beef won’t likely cause a significant trade disruption, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Seoul banned imports of beef from JBS USA’s Dumas, Texas, plant, according to USMEF spokesman Joe Schuele, after detecting zilpaterol because Korea has a zero-tolerance policy for that feed additive, also known by Merck brand name Zilmax.

Zilmax maker Merck Animal Health in mid-August announced it would temporarily suspend sales of the growth promotant in response to concerns about its potential impacts on the health and welfare of cattle. Therefore, the vast majority of beef shipped to Korea will not contain residues from that drug. Korea also tests imported beef shipments for the feed additive ractopamine, but only rejects the product if ractopamine residues exceed an internationally recognized tolerance level, he notes.

“We don’t see this as something that’s going to cause any long-term impasse with Korea,” Schuele said.

The finding of zilpaterol in the JBS shipment affects only the company’s Dumas, Texas, plant. Every container already en route to Korea will be eligible to enter, but every container must undergo laboratory testing there. Once the ban is official, the plant won’t be able to get export certification until its eligibility for Korea is restored. USMEF is currently seeking information on the steps a delisted plant must take to gain reinstatement.

“All of the other U.S. facilities (eligible to export to Korea) will be subject to normal testing procedures,” Schuele said.