Mad Cow Scare Now Hurting
State Potato Industry
By Carleen Johnson

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.
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