News Update
March 1, 2006


Beef Production Up 7%

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.89 billion pounds (lb.) in January, up 7% from 3.65 billion lb. produced in January 2005, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported Feb. 24.

Beef production, at 2.04 billion lb., was also 7% above the previous year. Cattle harvest totaled 2.64 million head, up 5% from January 2005. The average live weight was up 19 lb. from the previous year, at 1,281 lb.

Veal production totaled 12.5 million lb., 6% below January a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 55,700 head, down 18% from January 2005. The average live weight was 39 lb. above last year, at 368 lb.


S. Korea to Send Inspectors to U.S.

South Korea is preparing to send inspectors to U.S. beef processing facilities in early March, Dow Jones reported.

The inspections are planned as part of a process to expand South Korea’s agreement reached in January, which allows U.S. boneless beef imports from cattle under 30 months of age.

According to the article, specific trip details remain uncertain; however, the delegation will likely arrive in the United States March 6 and is expected to inspect more than 20 facilities.


CO Packaging Remains Under Fire

The American Meat Institute (AMI) and Kansas State University meat scientist Mel Hunt are defending the use of carbon monoxide (CO) in modified-atmosphere packaging of meat products, reported.

CO use first came under fire by members of Congress who began voicing concern last week about the meat industry’s use of CO to maintain meat’s bright pink color. The topic has received national attention, and now AMI officials are arguing that not only is CO use in packaging harmless, it helps fight pathogen formation and promotes food safety. 

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— compiled by Crystal Albers, associate editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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