Argentine agricultural officials this week will meet their Chinese counterparts in an effort to calm concern over Argentine beef , after a foot-and-mouth scare, according to CNN Food Center, quoting the President of Argentina Fernando De la Rua, while paying an official visit in Shanghai.

In late August this year China imposed a temporary ban on the import of live-cloven-foot animals and their products from Argentina, the world's fourth largest beef exporter, following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease there.

CNN Food Center notes that the latest official customs figures show China imported live animals and meat products worth US$17.7m from Argentina in the first seven months of this year.

In August, 3,500 cattle in Argentina were slaughtered after a handful of cattle were found to carry antibodies for the foot-and-mouth virus. The disease does not affect humans, but is highly contagious and difficult to eradicate from herds.