INDONESIA has banned the import of US beef following reports of a case of mad cow disease in California.

US Vice Agriculture Minister Rusman Heriawan said: “The ban begins today and will last until the US can assure us that its beef industry is free of any mad cow disease”.

“It could be one month or one year; it depends entirely on the U.S.”

He also said Indonesia would increase beef imports from Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk told reporters in Singapore that there has been “no evidence that from this one reported incident that any contaminated product has entered our food chain or the international food chain. Thus, we would expect that Indonesia would quickly reopen its market for its consumers to US beef products.”

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