Ag Secretary: Trade Negotiations Set Back Due To Beef Recall

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer says the nation's largest beef recall has set back negotiations to ship U.S. beef to Japan and South Korea.

Those markets closed to the U.S. cattle industry in 2003 after a scare over mad cow disease.

Schafer said Friday at a convention of meat packers and processors in Monterey that he's hopeful trade talks will continue, but says the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. recall has diplomats asking why the U.S. can't ship safe meat.

The USDA recalled the beef after the Humane Society of the United States released undercover video that showed slaughterhouse workers at the Chino-based company kicking and shoving sick and
crippled cows and forcing them to stand with electric prods, forklifts and water hoses.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-02-22-08 1446EST

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