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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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Denver, CO
Japan Likely To Resume U.S., Canada Beef Imports

TOKYO (Dow Jones)--An expert panel on mad-cow disease intends to compile a draft report later this month that is likely to pave the way for Japan to resume beef imports from the United States and Canada in December, members said after their meeting Tuesday, Kyodo News reported.

The prospect emerged as the prion research group under Japan's Food Safety Commission agreed that the chances of U.S. and Canadian cows being infected with the brain-wasting disease are extremely low, they said.

Japan has banned U.S. and Canadian beef imports since the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was discovered in Canada and the United States in May and December 2003, respectively. BSE becomes detectable when prions, a type of protein, accumulate in specific risk materials such as the spinal cord and brain. The prion panel has been discussing terms for removing Japan's ban on U.S. and Canadian beef imports.

Based on the outcome of Tuesday's meeting, the panel is expected to give its scientific endorsement on the safety of U.S. and Canadian beef in the draft report, Kyodo News reported.

Japanese imports of U.S. and Canadian beef, if resumed, would be limited to beef from cows of up to 20 months old.

Source: Dow Jones News

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