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Indonesia suspends some US beef imports

Posted at | Updated as of 04/27/12 1:16 AM

JAKARTA - Indonesia suspended imports of boned meat and innards from US beef Thursday but boneless meat remained unaffected, authorities said, after a new case of mad cow disease in California.

US authorities Tuesday reported the country's first case of mad cow disease in six years. They stressed there was no danger meat from the affected dairy cow would enter the food chain.

"We have decided to stop importing bone meal, innards and boned meat from the United States, but imports of boneless meat will continue," deputy agriculture minister Rusman Heriawan told AFP.

"The suspension starts today, but we don't know how long it will remain in effect," he said, adding that shipments en route will not be affected.

The United States supplies only a small volume of Indonesian beef imports, which largely come from Australia and New Zealand.

Beef innards such as liver, kidney, heart and intestines are widely used in Indonesian cuisine, but prime cut boneless meat accounts for a large part of US beef imports.

Last year Indonesia imported 100,000 tonnes of beef from around the world, local media reported, and the United States exported nearly 18,000 tonnes of beef products to Indonesia, valued at $28.2 million, according to figures from the US Meat Export Federation.