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From: TSS (wt-d6-183.wt.net)
Subject: JOINT PRESS STATEMENT FOR THE RESUMPTION OF TRADE IN BEEF AND BEEF PRODUCTS
Date: November 4, 2004 at 8:50 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: JOINT PRESS STATEMENT FOR THE RESUMPTION OF TRADE IN BEEF AND BEEF PRODUCTS
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 08:33:23 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE


##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT FOR THE RESUMPTION OF TRADE
IN BEEF AND BEEF PRODUCTS
by
the Government of the Japan and the Government of United States
October 23, 2004
------------------------------------------------------------------------
On October 21, 22 and 23, 2004, the Government of Japan (GOJ) and the
Government of the United States Government (USG) held Director-General
level consultations in Tokyo on the resumption of beef trade between the
two countries.During the meetings, the GOJ explained the review process
of domestic measures against BSE. The USG explained their domestic
measures taken against BSE and presented basic ideas for the resumption
of two-way beef trade.
The GOJ and USG, as a result of their consultation, shared the view that
under the following conditions and modalities the two countries will
resume two-way trade in beef and beef products, subject to their
respective domestic approval processes, based upon science.Further
details of some conditions and modalities remain to be worked out by
experts and working-level officials of both countries by the time of the
actual resumption of trade.
A. JAPANESE EXPORT TO THE UNITED STATES

The United States will permit Japanese export of beef and beef
products following relevant domestic rule-making procedures.

B. U.S. EXPORT TO JAPAN: MARKETING PROGRAM

The United States will establish a marketing program that enables a
resumption of some trade for an interim time period (interim trade
program).The operational details of the Beef Export Verification
(BEV) Program managed by U.S. Department of Agricultures (USDA)
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will be further worked out by
Japanese and U.S. experts, major points of which are as follows:

1. Specified risk materials (SRMs) must be removed from animals of all
ages.

a) The range of SRMs is defined as bovine heads (except for tongues and
cheek meat, but including tonsils), spinal cords, distal ileum (two
meters from connection to caecum), vertebral column (excluding the
transverse processes of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, the wings of
the sacrum and the vertebrae of the tail) of all ages.

b) In regard to treatment of SRMs, USDA will verify the control program
of each facility managed by HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control
Point) or SSOP (Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures).

2. Beef items including offals and variety meats must be derived
from bovine animals verified to be 20 months of age or younger.

3. Bovine animals included in the BEV Program for Japan must be
traceable to live animal production records which indicate that they are
20 months of age or younger at the time of slaughter. Records that will
be used to verify this requirement by the USG must meet at least one of
the following criteria:
a) Individual Animal Age Verification
b) Group Age Verification
c) Insemination Age Verification
d) USDA Process Verified Animal Identification and Data Collection Services
4. Experts of both countries will continue to consult on carcass grading
and quality attributes with a view to verifying physiological age to
evaluate carcasses to be 20 months of age or younger.Additional
information will be developed by USDA for consideration by the experts,
including a special physiological maturity study (Terms of Reference
attached in the Annex).This study will involve examination of maturity
grades of samples of representative cattle.When the carcass grading
system objectively demonstrates that it can verify physiological age to
evaluate carcasses to be 20 months of age or younger, it will be used as
a method to satisfy the BEV program requirement.
C. DOMESTIC PROCEDURES AND TIMING OF RESUMING TRADE

The necessary modifications to Japanese and U.S. regulations would
be completed expeditiously so Japan and the United States will
resume two-way beef trade immediately after completing their
respective domestic procedures.In Japans case, such domestic
approval process includes deliberation by the Food Safety
Commission.Both countries will undertake these domestic procedures
and endeavor to resume the beef trade as soon as possible.

D. CONTINUED JOINT SCIENTIFIC CONSULTATIONS

1. Joint consultations by the Japanese and U.S. experts will be
continued to help both sides gain a fuller understanding of the
pathogenesis and patterns of the BSE disease.Specific topics to be
addressed would include (but not limited to): BSE definition and
testing methods; transmissibility; and current and ongoing research
including the Japanese transgenic mouse assay.

2. Other international experts including from the World Organization
for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
would be invited to participate in the consultations.

3. The consultations would begin immediately and be conducted to
provide information to be available for the BEV Program Review (as
described in E below).

E. BEV PROGRAM REVIEW

The BEV Program (as described in B above) will be reviewed for
modification as may be appropriate in July 2005.The joint review by
officials of the Governments of Japan and the United States will
take into account a scientific review to be conducted by OIE and WHO
experts.The conclusion of the review, including the action to be
taken, will be made by the consensus judgment of both Governments.In
Japans case, it will be subject to deliberation by the Food Safety
Commission.

- Scientific Review.Experts from the OIE and the WHO will be asked to
review existing and new information to be compiled during operation of
the BEV Program and to provide guidance as to modifications that might
be appropriately made and assure consumer safety in Japan-U.S. beef
trade.The information to be reviewed will include:

∑ Information made available by the joint scientific
consultation as described in D above;
∑ The United States BSE status according to OIE criteria to be
reviewed; results of the U.S. enhanced surveillance program;
U.S. feed regulations; and the range of BSE amelioration
measures in place in the United States;

∑ Cut-off age for BSE testing; and
∑ Other relevant scientific information.

F. PREVENTION OF TRADE DISRUPTION

Both Japan and the United States have food safety systems in place
that are sufficiently robust such that identification of a few
additional BSE cases will not result in market closures and
disruption of beef trade patterns without scientific foundations.

G. AUDIT SYSTEM

Following equivalency audits of each countrys relevant food safety
system and resumption of trade, both countries will cooperate to
audit each sides facilities on a regular basis.

# # #
ANNEX
Terms of Reference: Physiological Maturity of Beef Cattle Carcasses
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will conduct a special
study in which steers and heifers of known ages (births identified
within a one month period) are slaughtered and evaluated for
physiological maturity.The purpose of the study is to determine an
expected end-point maturity that will assure the exclusion of steers or
heifers with a chronological age greater than 20 months from a
certification program for export to Japan.This evaluation of
physiological maturity on a representative sample of the U.S. fed-beef
slaughter population will provide a reliable assessment of the age of
cattle.The study, in consultations with Japanese experts, will be
designed and the data analyzed utilizing internationally recognized
sampling and statistical methods.
The study will be completed and a report presented within 45 days.

http://www.maff.go.jp/www/press/cont2/20041023/eng.htm

TSS

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