AT least one JBS plant is not eligible to export beef to South Korea for the moment after the company found traces of zilpaterol hydrochloride — better known by the Merck brand name Zilmax — in a 22-ton shipment last week.
The country said it would not accept further shipments from a JBS beef plant in Texas following the discovery.
The situation raises the question about how zilpaterol got into the beef supply because Merck suspended sales of the feed additive Aug. 16, and both Cargill Beef and Tyson Fresh Meats announced that they would no longer accept cattle finished using the beta-agonist.
South Korea buys roughly 11% of U.S. beef exports and is considered a key market for the industry. A spokesman with the U.S. Meat Export Federation said the situation is not expected to cause any significant or long-term disruptions to trade with Korea.