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From: TSS (216-119-144-71.ipset24.wt.net)
Subject: Japan unlikely to end beef ban - report
Date: October 12, 2004 at 6:38 pm PST

Japan unlikely to end beef ban - report
By CBS MarketWatch
Last Updated: 10/12/2004 8:53:53 PM
http://www.investors.com/breakingnews.asp?journalid=23487684&brk=1

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Japan is unlikely to resume U.S. beef imports this year because of objections from the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to a report published Wednesday.

Japan's Agriculture and Health ministries have proposed exempting cattle younger than 21 months from testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) - "mad cow disease" -- because, according to the ministries, young cattle rarely test positive, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

According to the report, the ministries had intended to ask Japan's Food Safety Commission to deliberate on their proposal as early as Wednesday, after receiving the endorsement of the governing Liberal Democratic Party.

But at a Tuesday meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party subcommittee on mad cow disease-related issues, lawmakers from districts serving many ranchers objected to the ministries' proposal, Nikkei report.

According to the report, the lawmakers argued that ending the blanket testing would have a serious impact on beef producers. The objection forced the subcommittee to postpone its discussion to later this week, Nikkei reported.

The Agriculture and Health ministries are looking to gradually implement a revision of the BSE testing ordinance, creating a two month to three month grace period. The ministries are also planning to offer subsidies to localities that voluntarily continue to inspect all cattle, Nikkei reported.

According to the report the ministries intends to present these measures to the LDP in the hopes of winning its approval at an early date. Obtaining the party's endorsement and having the Food Safety Committee deliberate the proposal will be the pre-conditions for Japan to engage in full-fledged talks with the United States on re-starting beef imports.

At a working-level meeting between the two countries last week, Japan rejected the U.S.-proposed method for identifying the age of cattle exempt from BSE testing, Nikkei reported.

In addition, big cattle-raising prefectures Hokkaido and Gifu plan to continue blanket inspections voluntarily even if the central government moves ahead with easing testing requirements.

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http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7BB6DD2ECB-F02D-44A8-83D2-6E042A4FF4F3%7D&siteid=google&dist=google
Japan's may extend ban on U.S. beef
By CBS MarketWatch
Last Update: 8:53 PM ET Oct. 12, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Japan is unlikely to resume U.S. beef imports this year because of objections from the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to a report published Wednesday...TSS






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