Indonesia bans imports of U.S. beef

April 26, 2012

According to The Wall Street Journal, Indonesia has suspended imports of U.S. beef following the discovery of a new case of mad-cow disease in California earlier this week. Vice Agriculture Minister Rusman Heriawan said Indonesia will import more beef from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to make up for any shortfall caused by the suspension. U.S. beef accounted for 20% of Indonesia’s overall beef imports.

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture announced April 24 it had discovered the first U.S. case of mad-cow disease since 2006. Officials said the infection was detected during routine testing at a California rendering plant, and stressed that no meat from the animal had entered the food supply chain.

“The beef and dairy in the American food supply is safe and USDA remains confident in the health of U.S. cattle,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The systems and safeguards in place to protect animal and human health worked as planned to identify this case quickly, and will ensure that it presents no risk to the food supply or to human health. USDA has no reason to believe that any other U.S. animals are currently affected, but we will remain vigilant and committed to the safeguards in place.”

Scientists said the latest case of mad-cow disease in the United States is “atypical” because the cow incurred the disease spontaneously, not from eating feed that contains the remains of infected cattle.

The Wall Street Journal article

USDA statement