Tag Archives: beef

Violence in Korean beef protests

About 130 people were injured during a violent clash during protests against the importation of American Beef into South Korea. By now, most of the moderates who participated in the protests are probably tired of them and need to go back to their own lives, so it's not a particular surprise that only the hardcore protestors would still go on. So it would have only been a matter of time before the ongoing protests resulted in violence.

The ironic thing is that for all we know, the injuries from this single protest might be more harm than what could result from the import of US beef, at least in terms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease infection. It is quite possible that no such cases might arise at all. I could be wrong, and the protestors could be right in their belief that import of US beef could result in a rash of cases, but there is no indication that this would be the case.

Korean protests over US beef

I think many Koreans are overreacting in their protests against the import of American beef. There has only been two cases of mad cow disease discovered in the US, which appears to have been contained before spreading further. The probability of contracting the disease from US beef is so low that it's a little hard to understand the level of conflict that's arisen from this issue. This is especially so since there has been less than five discovered human cases in the US itself who have contracted the disease, and it's not even clear that they contracted it from US beef.

The level of protests is bewildering, especially considering that there hardly seems to be any protests against Chinese food imports, where there is an actual and persistent history of contaminated foods being imported. At least the protests have not been particularly violent overall.