- 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
- 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.
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