SEOUL, South Korea-- On Tuesday 80,000 protestors in South Korea demanded the government ban imports of American beef, causing the South Korean cabinet to think of resigning. The protests began after a popular Korean T.V. show questioned the safety of American beef. Protestors say they fear mad cow disease outbreaks. The protestors caused massive traffic congestion in downtown seoul.Six years ago Kevin Fennell, General Manager of Animal Health Supplies in Pasco, had a client in Mabton who had an isolated case of mad cow disease.
"Within 24 hours they were able to provide comfort to the consumer that the beef supply was safe," said Fennell.
The national attention the protest has been receiving may have an effect on the beef industry."It effects the market and prices go down and when prices go down it makes it very difficult for the producers," said Fennell.An animal livestock educator says the beef industry has done a good job to eleviate some mad cow disease fears.
"It plays on people's emotions and it's not based in reality and I'm not concerned," said Jean Smith, WSU Animal Science Educator.