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Japan agrees to ease ban on US beef BUT

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PORKER

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Japan agrees to ease ban on US beef
AP Tokyo Dec 12: Japan agreed on Monday to ease the country’s ban on US and Canadian beef imports, resolving a bitter trans-Pacific trade dispute two years after the first case of mad cow disease was discovered in the US herd.

But the easing of the ban was accompanied by a host of new rules for North American beef. Japan said it would only import meat from cows younger than 21 months because no cases of mad cow disease have ever been found in cows that age. The new regulations also demand that US inspectors follow strict guidelines, such as removing dangerous cow material such as brains and spinal cords.

Japan will dispatch inspection teams to review North American exporting facilities starting Tuesday, the health ministry said.

“The issue of food safety is a fundamental part of everyday life, and we will do our best to ensure it,” said Japan’s Vice-Agricultural Minister, Mr Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi.

The US Agriculture Secretary, Mr Mike Johanns said he believed US beef could arrive in Japan within 10 days. He said Monday’s decision was “an important step in terms of normalising beef trade based on scientific standards”.Japanese Meat inspection vet will work in the US. plants.Documention from each producer 's animal will be needed in order to be exported .

Japan will halt imports from individual producers found violating the new rules, Mr Miyakoshi said. If abuses are widespread, Japan will re-evaluate implementing another sweeping ban.

Japan estimates that under the new guidelines, some 5 million American cows could prove eligible for export.

The decision, formally adopted on Monday by Japan’s agriculture and health ministries, follows a recommendation from the country’s Food Safety Commission last week to resume limited imports.

Before the ban, Japan had purchased more American beef than any other country in the world, buying $1.4 billion worth in 2003.

But surveys show Japanese are now leery of US beef and unwilling to buy it, without documention of each piece of beef and the producer who raised it while American ranchers say the series of new safety requirements imposed by Tokyo could keep many producers from tapping the market anyway.

While the United States has had two cases of mad cow disease, Japan has reported 21 since its first case in 2001, including one death.

The health ministry, however, believes the man, who died in December 2004, contracted the disease from eating beef during a one-month stay in Britain.

Japan’s latest livestock case was confirmed over the weekend, when the agriculture ministry determined that a cow that died last week had the sickness, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Kyodo News agency reported.

Eating beef from cattle infected with mad cow disease can cause the fatal brain disorder Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.

A survey last week by Kyodo showed some 75 per cent of Japanese are unwilling to eat US beef because of mad cow fears, compared to 21 per cent who said they would consume it. Most worry about the reliability of US inspection measures.

Mr Johanns said an announcement would come on Monday on whether the US will lift its own ban on Japanese beef. The agriculture department has been working since August on a rule that would lift the ban, which the United States imposes on countries with cases of mad cow disease.

The US lifted a ban on Canadian beef earlier this year.

American ranchers, meanwhile, are daunted by the extra expense of breaking back into the Japanese market.

Mr Steve Pilcher, executive vice-president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, said the move toward resumption of beef trade was “obviously a significant day for all cattle producers and all involved in the livestock industry.”

Selling beef to Japan will generally mean keeping a paper trail from the ranch to the feedlot to the slaughterhouse, to verify cattle are killed at 20 months of age or younger. But birth records alone will not do, and in many cases, producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds for corroboration, according to beef experts at Iowa State University.

Although Japan has reported more cases of mad cow disease than the US, Japan tests every domestic cow that goes to the slaughter house, and it initially demanded that the US do the same before resuming trade.

US authorities balked at the cost of testing the huge American herd and argued that it was not scientifically necessary.

******Only ScoringAg gets the data directly to the Consumer.
 

PORKER

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I thought this statement was not timely for USDA:Documention from each producer 's animal will be needed in order to be exported .

Japan will halt imports from individual producers found violating the new rules, Mr Miyakoshi said. If abuses are widespread, Japan will re-evaluate implementing another sweeping ban.
 

PORKER

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UNLESS YOU use www.Cattlerange.com < Value Enhanced... Selling records


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By acting now, you avoid the possibility of having livestock that are substantially unmerchantable due to non-compliance, once the program is fully implemented.

Prior to the 2009 deadline, livestock whose origin/age can already be verified will likely receive a premium in the Japanese marketplace... Especially those purchased for breeding purposes or sold to wholesalers/retailers/consumers that may require certified origin/age products prior to the deadline.

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.n..Suggested Procedures:

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Record the birth date of each animal, or the date the first calf of a particular year's calf crop was born.

Keep these records in your possession... You may be required to allow verification of your records.

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National Database such as:
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Manitoba_Rancher

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I seen on the headline news this morning that the first shipment of US beef arrived in Japan already. Any one else seen or heard this?
 

feeder

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Yep, it got loaded on the plane today, I think. I heard it was mostly to be used for samples at stores. Can you imagine what the customers must feel like or their facial expressions when offered a sample of the beef if it is labeled USA beef?
 

PORKER

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Yup,Would yyou eat some untested beef from Japan with as many cases of BSE that they have had in the last three years? I think Not !
 

Murgen

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What's their incidence rate as a % of the cattle population?

that might make a difference.
 

PORKER

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Looks like 12 times higher than Canada,Murgen
BUT
New requirements for doing business in Japan could keep many producers from tapping that once-lucrative market -- at least initially. Selling beef to Japan will mean maintaining a paper trail from the ranch to the feedlot and through the slaughterhouse, to verify cattle are killed at 20 months of age or younger. The levels of infection for mad-cow disease are believed to rise with age, and plans for resuming trade have been based on that cutoff.

But birth records alone won't do, and in many cases, producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds for corroboration, according to beef experts at Iowa State University. It will cost ranchers anywhere from 50 cents a head to $1.25 a head, by one estimate, just to put information into a database.

"It seems very few people know about this kind of stuff, but the writing's been on the wall about this a long time," said John Lawrence, a livestock economist who directs the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State and who has tracked and written on the issue.

While the rules may seem confusing to ranchers, and a bit of a hassle, he and other industry experts say producers need to get used to them: Mad-cow disease has changed the rules necessary to participate in global trade. "This is a very tangible example of that," Lawrence said. "Things are different than they used to be."
 

Murgen

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But birth records alone won't do, and in many cases, producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds for corroboration, according to beef experts at Iowa State University. It will cost ranchers anywhere from 50 cents a head to $1.25 a head, by one estimate, just to put information into a database.

And the value of beef going to Japan will be valued at what compared to US/Canada prices?

"hell, it's going to cost me a $1.75 to get back $5.00, that's a lot of work!"
 

Bill

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Murgen said:
But birth records alone won't do, and in many cases, producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds for corroboration, according to beef experts at Iowa State University. It will cost ranchers anywhere from 50 cents a head to $1.25 a head, by one estimate, just to put information into a database.

And the value of beef going to Japan will be valued at what compared to US/Canada prices?

"hell, it's going to cost me a $1.75 to get back $5.00, that's a lot of work!"
A better question is what's the market for tongue and internal organs in North America?

Code:
US beef back in Japan after two years Fri Dec 16, 9:05 AM ET
 
TOKYO (AFP) - A shipment of US beef has arrived by plane in Tokyo in the first such delivery since Japan lifted a two-year embargo imposed over mad cow disease concerns, the farm ministry said. 

The 4.6-ton cargo, including 0.3 tons of tongue and other internal organs, arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo in an order by major meat company Marudai Food.

Quarantine officials are to check if the exporter, Harris Ranch Beef of California, keeps the safety conditions set by the Japanese government such as the removal of risky parts.

Even if it clears the check, the beef will not reach Japanese store shelves.

"We imported it for sample tasting within our company," a Marudai spokesman said.

"As it has been two years, we need to see for ourselves whether it is good, soft or hard in comparison with domestic and Australian beef," he said.

Marudai "will continue to import" US beef but will decide how much it will buy for what purposes depending on the tasting results, he added.

The company used to sell 40,000 tons of processed US beef worth 30 billion yen (258 million dollars) a year before the ban was imposed.

Japan had been the biggest overseas market for US beef, importing 1.7 billion dollars worth in 2002, until it slapped a ban in December 2003 due to mad cow disease in the United States.

Japan lifted the embargo on some US beef on Monday after intense US pressure including threats of retaliatory trade sanctions.
 

mrj

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Bill said:
Murgen said:
But birth records alone won't do, and in many cases, producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds for corroboration, according to beef experts at Iowa State University. It will cost ranchers anywhere from 50 cents a head to $1.25 a head, by one estimate, just to put information into a database.

And the value of beef going to Japan will be valued at what compared to US/Canada prices?

"hell, it's going to cost me a $1.75 to get back $5.00, that's a lot of work!"
A better question is what's the market for tongue and internal organs in North America?

Code:
US beef back in Japan after two years Fri Dec 16, 9:05 AM ET
 
TOKYO (AFP) - A shipment of US beef has arrived by plane in Tokyo in the first such delivery since Japan lifted a two-year embargo imposed over mad cow disease concerns, the farm ministry said. 

The 4.6-ton cargo, including 0.3 tons of tongue and other internal organs, arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo in an order by major meat company Marudai Food.

Quarantine officials are to check if the exporter, Harris Ranch Beef of California, keeps the safety conditions set by the Japanese government such as the removal of risky parts.

Even if it clears the check, the beef will not reach Japanese store shelves.

"We imported it for sample tasting within our company," a Marudai spokesman said.

"As it has been two years, we need to see for ourselves whether it is good, soft or hard in comparison with domestic and Australian beef," he said.

Marudai "will continue to import" US beef but will decide how much it will buy for what purposes depending on the tasting results, he added.

The company used to sell 40,000 tons of processed US beef worth 30 billion yen (258 million dollars) a year before the ban was imposed.

Japan had been the biggest overseas market for US beef, importing 1.7 billion dollars worth in 2002, until it slapped a ban in December 2003 due to mad cow disease in the United States.

Japan lifted the embargo on some US beef on Monday after intense US pressure including threats of retaliatory trade sanctions.

I heard the first shipment going to Japan is from Harris Ranches beef and that it is source and age verified. Anyone else hear that? Or know the facts of their program? I only know Harris Ranch beef eats really well, having sampled some at various NCBA conventions. Wonder if some of the Japanese officials visited Harris Ranch or other such to check them out?

Whoever supplies that beef for Japan, it is a definite milestone in returning our export markets to a more normal position. Though, with Canada being on the same footing with Japan as the US is, we can't expect it to return to the same scope as before BSE any time soon, since a share of that market undoubtedly will belong to Canadian beef, IMO.

MRJ
 

Murgen

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Cargill's new plant (Better Beef) in Guelph Ontario, processes more age verified beef than any other plant in Canada!

They are cross-referencing bar code and RFID tags to the CCIA website/data, for age verification.

All done anonymously! The barcodes are still a bit of a challenge (due to them having to be "in the line of site"), but the RFID tags (mandatory by the end of 2006) are working great!
 

PORKER

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Murgen ?but the RFID tags (mandatory by the end of 2006) are working great! Is this per each package of beef leaving the packing plant or is this the Canadian cattle RFID tag system?
 

PPRM

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MRJ,

I have viewed Harris from the periphey for awhile. Doesn't surprise me that they would be the first ones in line. It goes along with a lot of what I see out here in the west, Successful Branded Beef programs often started by producers. They would likely have most of the parts in place to successfully partner with Japanese companies. Age verification wouldn't be a problem and they have worked on consistent quality beef for quite awhile.

Other programs include Oregon Natural Beef and Painted Hills....These programs tend to focus on consistency and quality, while scripting thier story very well to consumers,

PPRM
 

mrj

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PPRM said:
MRJ,

I have viewed Harris from the periphey for awhile. Doesn't surprise me that they would be the first ones in line. It goes along with a lot of what I see out here in the west, Successful Branded Beef programs often started by producers. They would likely have most of the parts in place to successfully partner with Japanese companies. Age verification wouldn't be a problem and they have worked on consistent quality beef for quite awhile.

Other programs include Oregon Natural Beef and Painted Hills....These programs tend to focus on consistency and quality, while scripting thier story very well to consumers,

PPRM

I believe it is highly likely there are a great number of such programs across the country which have long ago put into place the requirements necessary for identification and age/source verification and quality assurance programs into the bargain. They are the forward thinking cattle producers and well deserve the returns on their investments.

MRJ
 

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