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From: TSS ()
Date: May 20, 2005 at 6:48 pm PST

Tokyo twisted BSE safety report: panel member

The government "used" an independent Food Safety Commission panel to partially lift its import ban on U.S. and Canadian beef, a Japanese expert on mad cow disease said Friday.

Kazuya Yamanouchi said the food safety panel made a scientific assessment that if the all-cow testing requirement was eased, the risk of infected beef getting onto the market might increase, although it would be "extremely small."

Yamanouchi said he felt the panel was "used in a certain way" by the government because it interpreted the assessment as an approval to ease blanket testing and partially lift a nearly 17-month-old import ban on beef, including U.S. and Canadian meat.

His comments were made during a meeting of the Lower House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Yamanouchi, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and a member of the safety panel's subcommittee, the Prions Expert Committee, said blanket testing is effective in keeping contaminated beef from the market.

Earlier this month, the Food Safety Commission told the health and farm ministries that cattle slaughtered at 20 months of age or younger could be excluded from bovine spongiform encephalopathy tests as the result would only be a very small increase in the risk of BSE entering the food market.

With the commission decision, the ministries have begun amending ordinances to end blanket tests, possibly by August. Japan introduced the tests after its first case of BSE surfaced in September 2001.

It then banned imports of Canadian beef in May 2003 and U.S. beef in December 2003 after discoveries of BSE in those two countries.

The Japan Times: May 21, 2005
(C) All rights reserved

seems Japan has been around the USA too long. seems some of GWs
'sound science' is wearing off on them. God help Japan...TSS


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