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From: TSS (pool143-10.dial-u2.hou.wt.net)
Subject: Japan Is Closer to Lifting Ban on U.S. Beef Imports
Date: February 8, 2005 at 12:31 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Japan Is Closer to Lifting Ban on U.S. Beef Imports
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2005 13:18:20 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@LISTSERV.KALIV.UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE


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

Japan Is Closer to Lifting
Ban on U.S. Beef Imports

Associated Press
February 8, 2005 11:41 a.m.

TOKYO -- Japan moved a step closer to partially lifting a ban on U.S.
beef imports Tuesday after a government panel accepted U.S. assurances
that a specific grade of U.S. beef would be free of mad-cow disease.

The panel's decision, if accepted by the government, will clear the way
for Japan to begin importing U.S. grade A40 beef, which comes primarily
from cattle aged 12 to 17 months. Panel chairman Akihiro Okitani, a
professor at the Nippon Veterinary and Animal Science University, said
there was a high probability that the meat was free of mad-cow disease.

Hirofumi Kugita, the director of the Agriculture Ministry's
international animal and health affairs office, said it was unclear how
soon Japan would lift its beef-import ban. Japan's Food Safety Committee
would consider the panel's recommendations, he said.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker said he was pleased with the
development. "Now that we have finalized a major portion of the
technical side of this issue, I call upon the Japanese government to
work with us to expedite the remaining implementation process, so that
we may all once again enjoy U.S. beef in Japan," Mr. Baker said.

Consumer groups criticized the panel's decision. "This conclusion was
made politically and hastily in response to the American demand that we
resume beef imports from the United States," said Yasuaki Yamaura, a
senior official of Consumers Union of Japan.

Masae Wada, a spokeswoman for the Housewives' Association, said she was
concerned that there were too few inspectors in the U.S. to guarantee
the meat's safety. "When you think how many cattle each one of them
handles each day, it is hard for consumers to trust the results," Ms.
Wada said. "The number of grade inspectors is too small."

Japan had been the most lucrative overseas market for U.S. beef
producers before the ban, buying $1.7 billion of beef in 2003. But Japan
banned imports of U.S. beef in December 2003 after the discovery of
bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a Washington state Holstein cow.

Tokyo demanded that the U.S. test all cattle whose beef was destined for
Japan for mad-cow disease as a condition for resuming imports, but the
U.S. said such testing wasn't warranted by science. Another Japanese
panel then found that mad-cow tests on animals younger than 20 months
could be eliminated without raising the risk of giving people variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad-cow disease. This
allowed the two sides to tentatively agree on Japan resuming imports of
beef products from cows younger than 21 months, but talks soon stalled
over how to authenticate the age of cattle.

Copyright © 2005 Associated Press

http://online.wsj.com/

> accepted U.S. assurances that a specific grade of U.S. beef would be
> free of mad-cow disease.
>

YOU can bet your sweet bippy that the USA consumer will NOT be
getting that same 'specific grade of U.S. beef' which the USDA
claims is free of mad cow disease ;-) and i would not bet Japan
will be either...

TSS

######### https://listserv.kaliv.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html ##########






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