본문 바로가기
  • Home

A Study on the Legal Aspects of Beef Importation Following the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement

  • Public Land Law Review
  • Abbr : KPLLR
  • 2008, 41(), pp.373-410
  • Publisher : Korean Public Land Law Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law

lee jae sam 1

1경원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

An international agreement should be based on the principles of equality with the parties thereto being the main constituent possessing equal rights and obligation, and uphold the maintenance of legal relations. However, this unequal beef import agreement between Korea-US resulted in enormous damage to the people and the nation alike. That is, the said agreement caused an infringement of the people's right to live healthily and the right to quarantine. For this reason this unequal beef import agreement should be amended as soon as possible. It is quite right to rectify the situation by renegotiating it. And that is the desire of the whole nation. The constitutional right to life and the right to live healthily must be secured and protected. The state has responsibility to protect the health of the people, who in turn has a right of claim against the state ensuring the healthy life. The core of the problems of the beef import agreement is that it allows the importation of beef which contains SRM, violating the right to live healthily. The import of such SRM would threaten the health of the people exposing them to the mad cow disease. Besides, Korea has a very limited quarantine right at a U.S. slaughterhouse. Under the agreement Korea has to inspect the beef in the U.S. territory if SRM is found and follow the normal inspection procedure applying the normal rate, if the beef is deemed safe during such inspection. Even for the two instances of endangering the safety of food safety Korea is made unable to ban the import until the slaughterhouse in question has remedied the situation, and that is not fair. For this reason the Korean Government should be able to immediately stop the handling of the beef, if the US slaughterhouse in question is found producing the beef in a manner endangering the food safety. And a scientific inspection and management system should be carried out throughout the whole process ranging from the breeding, rearing, slaughtering and distributing of cattle in the United States to the quarantine inspection in Korea. For this purpose Korean quarantine officers and specialists are to be permanently stationed at the US slaughterhouse and granted authority to inspect it. Quarantine inspection procedures should be carefully followed while taking a precautionary measure for the entire imports to ensure the prevention of mad cow disease under the circumstances of impending full-scale market opening for the US beef. Any US beef suspected of mad cow disease during such inspection must be immediately returned or destroyed. And the appropriate level of manpower and equipment should also be secured for the thorough inspection of the US beef. For this purpose the training of the mad cow disease specialists and the equipment modernization are urgently needed. Also establishing domestic regulations as well as an institutionalized system may be required to preform both the prior inspection and post management for the mad cow disease. In other words, measures for preventing and curing the said disease as well a relief measure should be established. And marking of the place of origin should be strengthened to tighten controls on the beef importation and distribution. For this purpose the expansion of regulatory personnel as well as the punishment for the marking violations should be intensified. Ways of raising the competitiveness for the local cattle should also be sought out, as the local beef began considerably losing the market. To raise the local beef quality, a safety measure, scientific management system and the restructuring should be carried out throughout the whole process ranging from the breeding, rearing, slaughtering and distributing of local cattle. Measures that include Government's subsidies(helping the farmers to pay for cattle feed), a direct deal system(restructuring the distribution system), technical development or scientific research to produce high-quality local beef, strengthening of publicity and management based on the reinforced cooperation among the industry, government and consumers, measures for cattle disease prevention and curing and a relief plan should also be sought out.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.