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From: TSS ()
Subject: Re: Japan to reimpose ban on all US beef imports
Date: January 21, 2006 at 9:48 am PST

In Reply to: Re: Japan to reimpose ban on all US beef imports posted by TSS on January 20, 2006 at 6:58 am:

Release No. 0019.06
Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623


January 20, 2006

"We take this matter very seriously and we are conducting a thorough investigation.

"I have talked with Ambassador Kato and I expressed our regret and informed him of our actions. I also offered to provide in writing an outline of our actions and the results of our investigation into this matter.

"Under U.S. regulations, the backbone, or vertebral column, that was exported to Japan is not a specified risk material because it was in beef under 30 months. However, our agreement with Japan is to export beef with no vertebral column and we have failed to meet the terms of that agreement.

"The processing plant that exported this product has been de-listed and therefore can no longer export beef to Japan. We will take the appropriate personnel action against the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service employee who conducted the inspection of the product in question and approved it to be shipped to Japan.

"I am dispatching a team of USDA inspectors to Japan to work with Japanese inspectors to reexamine every shipment currently awaiting approval, to confirm compliance with the requirements of our export agreement with Japan.

"I have directed that additional USDA inspectors be sent to every plant that is approved to export beef to review procedures and ensure compliance with our export agreements and I am requiring that two USDA inspectors review every shipment of U.S. beef for export to confirm that compliance. I have also ordered unannounced inspections at every plant approved for beef export.

"These additional inspection requirements in the U.S. will be applied to all processing plants approved for beef export and all beef shipments designated for export from the U.S.

"I am also requiring that all USDA beef inspectors undergo additional training to make certain they are fully aware of all export agreement requirements. And, I have directed my staff to coordinate a meeting of representatives from all U.S. processing plants that export beef to review those requirements.

"While this is not a food safety issue, this is an unacceptable failure on our part to meet the requirements of our agreement with Japan. We take this matter seriously, recognizing the importance of our beef export market, and we are acting swiftly and firmly."


>>>While this is not a food safety issue...........

NOTHING is a food safety issue with Johanns or the USDA. Johanns must be shown the door and the USDA must be exterminated from pests that have
infiltrated it.

>>> I have also ordered unannounced inspections at every plant approved for beef export. <<<
>>>"These additional inspection requirements in the U.S. will be applied to all processing plants approved for beef export and all beef shipments designated for export from the U.S. <<<

IT"S a damn shame that the USA consumer cannot get the same safety requirements as the consumer of Japan that protects them against mad cow disease from USDA beef$

Jan. 20, 2006, 10:39PM
It's unclear if backbone pieces found in veal will mean brief freeze or yearslong halt

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - U.S. beef exporters struggling to recover from a mad cow disease scare suffered a stunning setback Friday, after a New York processing plant shipped banned animal parts to Japan.

Just six weeks after lifting a two-year ban on U.S. beef products, Japan closed its borders again Friday after inspectors there discovered pieces of backbone in a veal shipment.

Although such meat products would be deemed safe for human consumption in the United States, Japan has forbidden their import because of concerns about mad cow disease.

The incident has proved especially embarrassing for the United States because an inspector from the Agriculture Department had approved the shipment.

Whether the gaffe will translate into only a temporary halt to trade or another yearslong freeze remains unclear.

The issue is of no small import to Texas, the nation's No. 1 cattle-raising state. In 2004, Texas accounted for 40 percent of all U.S. beef exported, USDA figures show.

Agriculture Department officials scrambled Friday to control the damage the incident could cause to the beef industry's export market.

"This is an unacceptable failure on our part to meet the requirements of our agreement with this trading partner, the country of Japan," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told reporters. "We are taking this matter very seriously, recognizing the importance of our beef export markets. And we are acting swiftly and firmly."

Regulators yanked Brooklyn meat processor Atlantic Veal and Lamb's authority to export to Japan. And Johanns promised to take "appropriate personnel action" against the inspector.

USDA responds quickly
To try to further reassure the Japanese, USDA will send additional inspectors to processing plants to review procedures and require that two USDA inspectors review every shipment of U.S. beef being exported.

USDA also will require that federal inspectors undergo additional training to make sure they are well-versed on the details of beef export agreements.

Burt Rutherford, spokesman for the Amarillo-based Texas Cattle Feeders Association, applauded the federal government's quick response.

"We think it's very necessary that USDA continue to address the situation very aggressively," Rutherford said.

Joseph Mendelson, legal director for the Washington-based Center for Food Safety, said the improper shipment demonstrates that USDA is not doing enough to guard against mad cow disease.

"If they just did their job domestically, then we wouldn't have the problem," Mendelson said.

Regulators and beef industry officials were at pains to insist the shipment did not pose a health risk.

The veal shipped to Japan was derived from animals less than 4 1/2 months of age, Atlantic Veal officials said.

U.S. officials consider beef from animals less than 30 months of age as being safe from the brain-wasting mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Japan sets the bar lower, banning animals of more than 20 months from the food chain. Still, Atlantic Veal's shipment would have been well within that range.

However, the United States' agreement with Japan specifies that no beef exports will include certain animal parts such as spinal cords, bone marrow and brains deemed to be most at risk for harboring the disease.

The shipped veal included parts of vertebral columns, which fall under Japan's list of mad cow risk materials.

"Were this product shipped to San Francisco, there would be no question about its safety," Atlantic Veal President Philip Peerless said in a statement. "But because we shipped it to Japan, and because it contained bones that are not accepted by the Japanese, we have now been prohibited from exporting to Japan."

The incident comes as beef exporters were managing to rebuild markets devastated by the discovery of a diseased cow in Washington state in late 2003.

Japan and other countries quickly slammed the door on U.S. beef. The situation was then compounded last year, when regulators had to concede they had misdiagnosed a Texas cow that also had the disease.

In 2003, U.S. exporters shipped $3.8 billion worth of beef, USDA officials said. About a third of those shipments — valued at $1.3 billion — went to Japan. The following year, total beef exports plunged to $804 million, with none going to Japan, USDA officials said.

Texas worldwide beef exports dropped by more than half, from $756 million in 2003 to only $327 million in 2004.

How long will it last?
USDA officials responded to the mad cow crisis by initiating a heightened surveillance program to screen for the disease and by launching an international charm offensive to pry open closed markets.

Japan agreed to reopen its market last month, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea and — just Thursday — Singapore.

Bill Hyman, executive director of the Lockhart-based Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas, says he thinks Japan was slow to reopen its borders after the 2003 case of mad cow.

Will Japan's response be different this go-round?

"I'm hoping this is a temporary issue," Hyman said.

1/20/2006 Cattle Market Notes: COF, GIPSA Audit, Japan Discovers SRM 1/20/2006 Cattle Update: Japan Bans U.S. Beef Again 1/20/2006 Burns Concerned Japan Holding U.S. Beef Imports 1/20/2006 Beef Backbone Processor Identified As Atlantic Veal & Lamb 1/20/2006 Jolley: An Embarrassed Koizumi Stops U.S. Beef Imports 1/20/2006 Meat Institute: USDA Has Delisted Plant In Beef Case 1/20/2006 Japan Halts U.S. Beef Imports Due To Contaminated Shipment 1/20/2006 Tyson Says It Wasn't Exporter Of Beef Backbone To Japan 1/20/2006 NCBA Statement on U.S. Beef Exports to Japan 1/20/2006 R-CALF "Disappointed" By Japan Beef Situation 1/20/2006 NDA: Ibach Comments On Reports Of UnApproved Beef Product Arriving In Japan 1/20/2006 Johanns Statement Regarding U.S. Beef Exports To Japan 1/20/2006 KLA Cattle Alert: Japan Considers Options With U.S. Beef 1/3/2006 Link: Japan's Beef Back On Menus

I could not find that this Atlantic Veal's plant listed on approved plants for Japan. however ;

Plants Eligible for Export

All federally inspected establishments are eligible to export to Japan.
Exporters should be aware that establishments _ not_ listed in the Meat and
Poultry Inspection Directory may experience delayed entry into Japan.
Contact the Technical Service Center at (402) 221-7400 for assistance.

JA-90 (Jan 19, 2006)

IF These folks Johanns/industry et al would have taken as much effort in eradicating BSE/TSE and following regulations in the first place, as they are now trying to again fix something that has been terribly broken for years and years, they would not be in the position they are in today. but they just keep on keeping on, digging deeper and deeper. oh what a tangled web they weave, when all they do is practice to deceive $$$


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