AR-News: Mad Cow Scare Now Hurting State Potato Industry
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Wed Dec 31 19:03:18 EST 2003
Mad Cow Scare Now Hurting State Potato Industry
December 31, 2003
By Carleen Johnson
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SEATTLE - Another unexpected spin-off from the mad cow scare, could spell
bad news for more than just the beef industry.
Washington state potatoes are now being held hostage by Asian markets.
The problem is beef tallow, which is used to pre-fry some potato products
like french fries, before they are packaged and shipped overseas.
Some Asian markets, which have already banned U.S. beef, are now holding up
or refusing shipments of potato products, thinking the beef tallow might be
unsafe because of the mad cow scare.
"Japan is our number one export market frozen french fries, so yes, it is a
concern," said Shannon Bornsen, the director of International Trade at the
Washington State Potato Commission.
But Bornsen says there is no evidence beef tallow can transmit mad cow
disease, but they have work to do in convincing their customers of that.
At risk is an export market for frozen potato products that brought in $225
million for Northwest exporters last year.
"A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he
eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his
appetite." --Leo Tolstoy
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