U.S. Beef: Some Facts
The American Institute in Taiwan would like to take this opportunity to clarify for the Taiwan public some basic facts about U.S. beef.
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumption of beef in the United States was estimated to be a record 12.7 million metric tons in 2005. U.S. beef consumption is forecast to expand an additional 3 percent in 2006. Based on these statistics, Americans consume about 30 kilograms of beef per person per year. These consumption figures demonstrate the high degree of confidence American consumers have in the safety of U.S. beef.
- In recent weeks, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have all announced the re-opening of their markets to U.S. beef. These decisions are based on risk assessments carried out by animal health and food safety experts and a thorough evaluation of U.S. BSE safeguard measures. To date, nearly 100 countries around the world permit the import of U.S. beef. In 2005, the United States exported an estimated 285,000 tons of beef to markets around the world. With the recent opening of markets in Asia, U.S. beef exports are forecast to increase nearly 50 percent in 2006. Demand for U.S. beef by consumers outside the United States is another demonstration of confidence in the safety of U.S. beef.
- The World Trade Organization's standard setting body for animal health, the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), announced in May 2005 that boneless beef from cattle under thirty months of age with the removal of specified risk materials was safe to consume regardless of the BSE status of the exporting country. The OIE guidelines are based on a careful assessment of BSE risks and food safety by an international group of scientists and experts. Singapore, Korea, and Hong Kong, which have no reported BSE cases, also followed these OIE guidelines in making their decision to resume imports of U.S. beef.