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Canada exports beef to Japan despite US ban

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SASH

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Canada exports beef to Japan despite US ban: agency
Friday, January 20, 2006 13:01 EST

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By Marcy Nicholson

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canada will continue exporting beef to Japan, despite that country's suspension of U.S. beef imports after bits of spinal cord were found in a shipment, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on Friday.

Japan does not allow spinal material in meat imports because of the risk of mad cow disease.

"We're dealing with, not herd health and appropriate risk litigations, we're dealing with a specific concern over a shipment," CFIA spokesman Marc Richard said.

Canadian Cattlemen's Association president Stan Eby said he was not worried that Friday's announcement would have an impact on the Canadian industry.

But he added: "It's definitely a warning for everyone to be very sure that we meet those specifications and no deviations from those specifications."

Japan demands that all animal material linked to mad cow disease, including the spinal cord, be removed from U.S. and Canadian beef. Eating beef contaminated with the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is believed to cause a fatal variant in humans.

Last month, Japan eased a two-year-old ban on imports of beef and beef offal from U.S. and Canadian cattle aged up to 20 months, on condition that the risky material is removed.

Japan was Canada's third-largest beef exporter before the Asian country banned imports in May 2003 after the first Canadian case of BSE was confirmed. A ban of U.S. beef followed in December 2003 after the first U.S. case of BSE was found in Washington state.

Eby said on Friday Canadian producers must make sure their cattle are no older than 20 months, and that their processing plants meet Japanese demands.

In 2002, Canada exported more than C$81 million ($70 million) worth of beef to Japan. The United States shipped beef worth $1.4 billion to Japan in 2003.

($1=$1.15 Canadian)
 

Silver

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Let's keep our fingers crossed that someone doesn't screw this up. Hopefully the yanks get back up and running soon too.
Next stop Korea, then the world! :lol:
 

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