[LETTERS to the editor]A beef about beef reporting

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[LETTERS to the editor]A beef about beef reporting

As an American living in Korea for a long time (12 years so far) ... I have found myself on numerous occasions correcting fellow Americans or other Westerners on their mistaken conceptions about Korea. However, on the issue of resuming beef imports from America, I have been very disappointed in Koreans’ actions and attitudes, especially the media’s very irresponsible approach in presenting the issue.

For the Korean people to get in such an uproar over American beef as though it is some unsanitary and disease-ridden substance is laughable. Some 300 million Americans, not a small number, and so many others never discontinued eating American beef. For Koreans to be so ignorant as to ignore the simple statistic of that population never having a case of human infection is truly sad. The media seem to never have reported the simple statement, “To date, no one is known to have gotten the disease from eating U.S. beef.” (But you did, and I thank you.)

The rest of the media has been so utterly irresponsible in their propaganda-like incitement and inflammatory reporting of the issue. I have no sympathy for any of them that are punished by the government. The way the issue was presented was not free speech but sensationalism.

Another thing that has bothered me for the last several years are the “Clean and Safe” stickers and signs on Australian beef and in places such as McDonalds and some supermarkets. For that statement to be allowed on Australian beef in the Korean markets, while at the same time U.S. beef was banned and shunned as disease-ridden is another example of an irresponsible and unfair culture.

Kevin McCarthy, Chinhae, Kyungnam

*e-mail to eopinion@joongang.co.kr or via fax to 82-2-751-9219

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