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Japan WILL NOT Lower Standards

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Mike

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PM says Japan will not lower beef safety standards to suit US
(AP)

7 February 2006


TOKYO - Japan will not lower its beef safety standards to suit American producers, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on Tuesday, defending himself from criticism that the government has failed to conduct proper food inspections.

Japan halted US beef imports last month after the discovery of banned backbones in a shipment of American veal.

The fresh halt to imports was a harsh turnaround for US beef exports to Japan. Tokyo banned American beef in December 2003 after the first US case of mad cow disease, and lifted the embargo only last December.

Koizumi told lawmakers Tuesday that Japan would not change its policy of importing American beef only from cows 20 months old or younger, despite evidence that cows up to 30 months old are free of mad cow disease.

“Americans should understand that Japan’s safety standard is strict,” he said. “They should understand that Japan’s stricter standard only allows cows younger than 20 months, even though 30 months is considered safe elsewhere.”

Japan’s Food Safety Commission approved lifting the ban on US beef on two conditions: that imports be limited to meat from cows aged 20 months or less; and that brains, bone marrow, backbones and other parts thought to be at high risk for mad cow disease be removed.

The discovery of backbone in the veal shipment spurred the agriculture minister to acknowledge that government officials had not inspected American beef exporters until after the ban was eased, despite a Cabinet statement that checks would come before imports resumed.

Opposition leader Seiji Maehara of the Democratic Party of Japan accused the government of failing to protect the public’s safety and health by hastily allowing US beef back into the Japanese market.

“Chances are high that a large number of Japanese might have been forced to eat dangerous meat,” Maehara said. “The government’s failure to fulfill its responsibility to protect the public’s health and safety is serious.”

Koizumi said he hoped to “turn the potential disaster to one’s advantage” and achieve a fruitful outcome for the beef problem.

“It is our responsibility to promote their understanding and establish a mutually agreeable framework under which we can resume imports,” he said.
 

Bill

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Koizumi Pledges Japan Will Not Accept Older Cattle

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, speaking in front of a hostile Diet (senate) that has accused him of bowing to pressure from the United States in reopening the market to U.S. beef imports, said that despite evidence that meat from cattle under 30 months of age is safe, Japan will not lower its 20-month standard.

"[Americans should understand] that Japan's stricter standard only allows cows younger than 20 months, even though 30 months is considered safe elsewhere," he said Tuesday. That standard will not change, he pledged.

He threw a bone to the U.S. beef industry, saying, "It is our responsibility to promote their understanding and establish a mutually agreeable framework under which we can resume imports."

Opposition politicians have had a field day, accusing Koizumi of ignoring the health and safety of the Japanese public in favor of appeasing the Bush administration, with whom Koizumi shares relatively warm relations.

Koizumi's announcement deals a blow to U.S. trade authorities, which had hoped that Japan would eventually accept meat from cattle under 30 months.

Source: Pete Hisey, Meatingplace.com on Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Over twenty months ain't gonna happen and MID and age verification just got a lot more important.
 

mrj

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Bill said:
Koizumi Pledges Japan Will Not Accept Older Cattle

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, speaking in front of a hostile Diet (senate) that has accused him of bowing to pressure from the United States in reopening the market to U.S. beef imports, said that despite evidence that meat from cattle under 30 months of age is safe, Japan will not lower its 20-month standard.

"[Americans should understand] that Japan's stricter standard only allows cows younger than 20 months, even though 30 months is considered safe elsewhere," he said Tuesday. That standard will not change, he pledged.

He threw a bone to the U.S. beef industry, saying, "It is our responsibility to promote their understanding and establish a mutually agreeable framework under which we can resume imports."

Opposition politicians have had a field day, accusing Koizumi of ignoring the health and safety of the Japanese public in favor of appeasing the Bush administration, with whom Koizumi shares relatively warm relations.

Koizumi's announcement deals a blow to U.S. trade authorities, which had hoped that Japan would eventually accept meat from cattle under 30 months.

Source: Pete Hisey, Meatingplace.com on Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Over twenty months ain't gonna happen and MID and age verification just got a lot more important.

Did the US ask them to lower their standards?

Everything coming from USDA that I've read on this was very apologetic, explaining how the problem occured, and taking full responsibility for defaulting on our "deal".

Hopefully, there will be a full and complete investigation as to the why's, how's, and WHO was at fault, followed by appropriate action.

Personally, I find it very difficult to believe anyone in the meat business could be so stupid as for that incident to be accidental, and everyone from the Japanese customer ordering that specific cut on through to the final inspector is suspect, the way I see it.

MRJ
 

agman

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MRJ said:
Bill said:
Koizumi Pledges Japan Will Not Accept Older Cattle

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, speaking in front of a hostile Diet (senate) that has accused him of bowing to pressure from the United States in reopening the market to U.S. beef imports, said that despite evidence that meat from cattle under 30 months of age is safe, Japan will not lower its 20-month standard.

"[Americans should understand] that Japan's stricter standard only allows cows younger than 20 months, even though 30 months is considered safe elsewhere," he said Tuesday. That standard will not change, he pledged.

He threw a bone to the U.S. beef industry, saying, "It is our responsibility to promote their understanding and establish a mutually agreeable framework under which we can resume imports."

Opposition politicians have had a field day, accusing Koizumi of ignoring the health and safety of the Japanese public in favor of appeasing the Bush administration, with whom Koizumi shares relatively warm relations.

Koizumi's announcement deals a blow to U.S. trade authorities, which had hoped that Japan would eventually accept meat from cattle under 30 months.

Source: Pete Hisey, Meatingplace.com on Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Over twenty months ain't gonna happen and MID and age verification just got a lot more important.

Did the US ask them to lower their standards?

Everything coming from USDA that I've read on this was very apologetic, explaining how the problem occured, and taking full responsibility for defaulting on our "deal".

Hopefully, there will be a full and complete investigation as to the why's, how's, and WHO was at fault, followed by appropriate action.

Personally, I find it very difficult to believe anyone in the meat business could be so stupid as for that incident to be accidental, and everyone from the Japanese customer ordering that specific cut on through to the final inspector is suspect, the way I see it.

MRJ

I believe the problem was the result of OIE classification of that item as a non-SRM versus the actual agreement made with Japan. While I do not dismiss the error that occurred it is plausible to understand the possible confusion and error given the two separate classifications of what constitutes SRM.

The USDA in fact is already pursuing the process of getting Japan to accept UTM as opposed to under twenty-one months. All indications are the S Korea will accept product UTM. That will eventually put pressure on Japan to alter their current position.
 

Mike

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I believe the problem was the result of OIE classification of that item as a non-SRM versus the actual agreement made with Japan. While I do not dismiss the error that occurred it is plausible to understand the possible confusion and error given the two separate classifications of what constitutes SRM.

The USDA in fact is already pursuing the process of getting Japan to accept UTM as opposed to under twenty-one months. All indications are the S Korea will accept product UTM. That will eventually put pressure on Japan to alter their current position.

Agman, you sound like the typical political doublespeak that we are hearing from the USDA. Plausible? Possibly.

How will S. Korea's position "eventually" put pressure on the Japs? The Japs are doing fine without us. We need them more than they need us and they know it.

It's "Selling" time. Not "Pressure" time.
 

Bill

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MRJ said:
Bill said:
Koizumi Pledges Japan Will Not Accept Older Cattle

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, speaking in front of a hostile Diet (senate) that has accused him of bowing to pressure from the United States in reopening the market to U.S. beef imports, said that despite evidence that meat from cattle under 30 months of age is safe, Japan will not lower its 20-month standard.

"[Americans should understand] that Japan's stricter standard only allows cows younger than 20 months, even though 30 months is considered safe elsewhere," he said Tuesday. That standard will not change, he pledged.

He threw a bone to the U.S. beef industry, saying, "It is our responsibility to promote their understanding and establish a mutually agreeable framework under which we can resume imports."

Opposition politicians have had a field day, accusing Koizumi of ignoring the health and safety of the Japanese public in favor of appeasing the Bush administration, with whom Koizumi shares relatively warm relations.

Koizumi's announcement deals a blow to U.S. trade authorities, which had hoped that Japan would eventually accept meat from cattle under 30 months.

Source: Pete Hisey, Meatingplace.com on Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Over twenty months ain't gonna happen and MID and age verification just got a lot more important.

Did the US ask them to lower their standards?

Everything coming from USDA that I've read on this was very apologetic, explaining how the problem occured, and taking full responsibility for defaulting on our "deal".

Hopefully, there will be a full and complete investigation as to the why's, how's, and WHO was at fault, followed by appropriate action.

Personally, I find it very difficult to believe anyone in the meat business could be so stupid as for that incident to be accidental, and everyone from the Japanese customer ordering that specific cut on through to the final inspector is suspect, the way I see it.

MRJ
I am not sure I understand your question MRJ but yes the US has been asking Japan to drop their standards for some time from accepting beef only from animals under twenty months.

USDA may well have been apologetic but US trade representatives have not been.
House Ag Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) emerged from an unsatisfactory meeting with Japanese opposition party members hinting at dramatic trade sanctions against Japan unless the market is reopened to U.S. beef.

Goodlatte, using the diplomatic equivalent of a baseball bat, compared the situation to trade in car parts. "Closing their market over a few boxes of veal," he said, "would be like the United States closing its market to Japanese automobiles because we find some defective brakes, defective steering columns, other defective things."

Later in the day, Goodlatte corked the bat and swung for the fences when he said that Japan will face "a very dramatic response" unless it quickly ends its beef ban. He said, "Our constituents are losing patience and Congress is losing patience. It is becoming more and more difficult to justify keeping our markets open when our producers don't enjoy the same benefits with other countries."

To demonstrate how much he's misread Japanese popular opinion, here's an editorial that appeared today in the Asahi Shimbun, Japan 's equivalent of the New York Times. Pay particular attention to the last paragraph. It indicates that Goodlatte's threats will be the diplomatic equivalent of a called third strike.

Consumer anxiety about the safety of U.S. beef has been further heightened by the revelation that the government reneged on its promise to send inspectors to beef processing facilities in the United States before resuming imports last December.
Quite a mess which hopefully Canada can avoid and continue to send beef to Japan.
 

agman

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Mike said:
I believe the problem was the result of OIE classification of that item as a non-SRM versus the actual agreement made with Japan. While I do not dismiss the error that occurred it is plausible to understand the possible confusion and error given the two separate classifications of what constitutes SRM.

The USDA in fact is already pursuing the process of getting Japan to accept UTM as opposed to under twenty-one months. All indications are the S Korea will accept product UTM. That will eventually put pressure on Japan to alter their current position.

Agman, you sound like the typical political doublespeak that we are hearing from the USDA. Plausible? Possibly.

How will S. Korea's position "eventually" put pressure on the Japs? The Japs are doing fine without us. We need them more than they need us and they know it.

It's "Selling" time. Not "Pressure" time.

No double talk, just reality. Unlike you Mike and several others who blast and assume guilt to fit your bias I do believe there are such things as honest mistakes. Have you ever made one?

The S. Koreans are willing to operate with established international protocol as are many other countries. This indirectly places pressure on Japan to comply with international standards. That is not to difficult to figure out is it? Th USDA is working, as they should, to seek compliance. I believe that is a much more worthwhile effort than the phony lawsuits your cohorts are pursuing. I might add that if the USDA was not pursuing this avenue you and folks like you would complain about that too.
 

HAY MAKER

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agman said:
Mike said:
I believe the problem was the result of OIE classification of that item as a non-SRM versus the actual agreement made with Japan. While I do not dismiss the error that occurred it is plausible to understand the possible confusion and error given the two separate classifications of what constitutes SRM.

The USDA in fact is already pursuing the process of getting Japan to accept UTM as opposed to under twenty-one months. All indications are the S Korea will accept product UTM. That will eventually put pressure on Japan to alter their current position.

Agman, you sound like the typical political doublespeak that we are hearing from the USDA. Plausible? Possibly.

How will S. Korea's position "eventually" put pressure on the Japs? The Japs are doing fine without us. We need them more than they need us and they know it.

It's "Selling" time. Not "Pressure" time.

No double talk, just reality. Unlike you Mike and several others who blast and assume guilt to fit your bias I do believe there are such things as honest mistakes. Have you ever made one?

The S. Koreans are willing to operate with established international protocol as are many other countries. This indirectly places pressure on Japan to comply with international standards. That is not to difficult to figure out is it? Th USDA is working, as they should, to seek compliance. I believe that is a much more worthwhile effort than the phony lawsuits your cohorts are pursuing. I might add that if the USDA was not pursuing this avenue you and folks like you would complain about that too.


Agman I believe even you will admitt,that the way the export problem has been handled leaves a lot to be desired,all that has been accomplished for far that I can see is diminished consumer demand in the Japanese market place.............good luck
 

Econ101

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agman said:
Mike said:
I believe the problem was the result of OIE classification of that item as a non-SRM versus the actual agreement made with Japan. While I do not dismiss the error that occurred it is plausible to understand the possible confusion and error given the two separate classifications of what constitutes SRM.

The USDA in fact is already pursuing the process of getting Japan to accept UTM as opposed to under twenty-one months. All indications are the S Korea will accept product UTM. That will eventually put pressure on Japan to alter their current position.

Agman, you sound like the typical political doublespeak that we are hearing from the USDA. Plausible? Possibly.

How will S. Korea's position "eventually" put pressure on the Japs? The Japs are doing fine without us. We need them more than they need us and they know it.

It's "Selling" time. Not "Pressure" time.

No double talk, just reality. Unlike you Mike and several others who blast and assume guilt to fit your bias I do believe there are such things as honest mistakes. Have you ever made one?

The S. Koreans are willing to operate with established international protocol as are many other countries. This indirectly places pressure on Japan to comply with international standards. That is not to difficult to figure out is it? Th USDA is working, as they should, to seek compliance. I believe that is a much more worthwhile effort than the phony lawsuits your cohorts are pursuing. I might add that if the USDA was not pursuing this avenue you and folks like you would complain about that too.

Sometimes its not the attitude of critics that needs to change, sometimes its the actions of those being criticized. You seem to think a positive attitude is going to get the U.S. cattle industry the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Agman. Sometimes it is just plain hard work, truthful, ethical, honest, and competent actions. All of which have been in short supply in the USDA management team.
 

mrj

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Bill, re. the US asking Japanese to lower standards......my point was the standards agreed to for resuming imports. I do not believe the USA was asking for standards to be lowered further below that agreement, at this time, were we?

Apparently, the seller was doing as frenchie (and many R-calf promoters demand), giving the customer in Japan what he asked for: the product with neck bones (which is not considered SRM by the OIE).

Isn't it PLAUSIBLE (meaning "seeming to be likely or possible, but open to doubt") that a. the customer innocently ordered that product believing it to be allowed, AND the seller provided the product believing it to be allowed because it was under 20 months AND was NOT SRM, AND the inspector believed this also?

OR b. the customer deliberately ordered a product of confusing specs, in order to cause the incident, setting up the USA imports to Japan for defeat.

It is apparent the importation of US beef is being used by political parties in Japan to garner votes, so actual safety of US beef has little to do with this situation, IMO.

MRJ
 

Bill

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OK MRJ, gotcha now. I was talking about Japanese standards not OIE and we know they are very different.

What is going to be interesting in this whole mess is the US habit of going on to the world stage and solving problems in a "Walkin Tall" fashion with a bat such as Goodlate showed a few days ago. No doubt the Japanese are cunning and crafty and there are more political games being played than many can imagine.
 

Sandhusker

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frenchie said:
Whatever happened to giving the customer what he wants ...if he is prepared to pay for it.

Write this down as something you and I agree on, Frenchie. Apparently, there is a new standard called "sound science". It has never been used before and is used only sparingly on certain products - well, actually ONE product and then, only in certain situations.
 

mrj

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Sandhusker said:
frenchie said:
Whatever happened to giving the customer what he wants ...if he is prepared to pay for it.

Write this down as something you and I agree on, Frenchie. Apparently, there is a new standard called "sound science". It has never been used before and is used only sparingly on certain products - well, actually ONE product and then, only in certain situations.


Sandhusker, isn't that what the NY beef dealer was trying to do???? The Japanese customer ordered those cuts. In that case, the wholesaler should NOT have given the customer what he ordered since it was not allowed under the agreement.

MRJ
 

Sandhusker

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MRJ said:
Sandhusker said:
frenchie said:
Whatever happened to giving the customer what he wants ...if he is prepared to pay for it.

Write this down as something you and I agree on, Frenchie. Apparently, there is a new standard called "sound science". It has never been used before and is used only sparingly on certain products - well, actually ONE product and then, only in certain situations.


Sandhusker, isn't that what the NY beef dealer was trying to do???? The Japanese customer ordered those cuts. In that case, the wholesaler should NOT have given the customer what he ordered since it was not allowed under the agreement.

MRJ

I think they're both at fault. The Japanese should of known what could be shipped before they ordered and the inspector should of known what he could ship and not ship.

Once again, this is the type of crap you can expect when you play games and don't handle things right in the first place.
 

frenchie

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MRJ said:
Apparently, the seller was doing as frenchie (and many R-calf promoters demand), giving the customer in Japan what he asked for: the product with neck bones (which is not considered SRM by the OIE).

MRJ

M.R.J I meant giving them a tested product..not an prohibitted product..but I forgot private testing is prohibitted too.. :lol:
 

frenchie

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MRJ said:
Sandhusker said:
frenchie said:
Whatever happened to giving the customer what he wants ...if he is prepared to pay for it.

Write this down as something you and I agree on, Frenchie. Apparently, there is a new standard called "sound science". It has never been used before and is used only sparingly on certain products - well, actually ONE product and then, only in certain situations.


Sandhusker, isn't that what the NY beef dealer was trying to do???? The Japanese customer ordered those cuts. In that case, the wholesaler should NOT have given the customer what he ordered since it was not allowed under the agreement.




MRJ

M.R.J

If the N.Y beef dealer did not know the export specs ...what the hell is he doing in the export business.

All this crap about them being set up..the Japanese tested your program and N.Y beef failed.nuff said
 

Bill

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It doesn't look like they were set up.

LEGAL/REGULATORY NEWS
Johanns: Japan veal shipment also contained uncertified offal

by Pete Hisey on 2/20/2006 for Meatingplace.com

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, in a press conference early Friday timed to be available to Japanese press and authorities, revealed results of USDA's investigation of the shipment of veal that effectively re-closed the Japanese market a month after it reopened.

According to Johanns, not only did the shipment, from Atlantic Lamb and Veal of Brooklyn, N.Y., and its sister company, Golden Veal of Ohio, contain forbidden spinal material, it also contained veal offal that Golden Veal, the actual supplier, had not been certified to export to Japan. Additionally, the quantity of offal was greater than could be expected from the 21 calves slaughtered by Golden Veal after it was certified on Jan. 6. Said Johanns, "We know some of the offal had to have come from animals slaughtered before the plant was certified to ship product to Japan."

Johanns blamed personnel at the two plants, but also criticized inspectors from the Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Agricultural Marketing Service. All in-plant inspectors will undergo additional training before any more shipments are made to Japan, Johanns pledged. Additionally, blanket export permits will end, and plants will receive export certificates good for specific cuts or products only.

Johanns pointed out that the paperwork for the shipment specifically noted that the boxes contained hotel rack of veal and offal, which should have alerted inspectors reviewing the invoices. He added that the veal program was very recent and unfamiliar to inspectors and that only those two plants had been authorized to export veal products, so it was their first experience with exporting to Japan.

A copy of the 475-page report was delivered to Japanese officials as Johanns spoke. In Japan, Shoichi Nakagawa, agriculture minister, met with U.S. Ambassador Thomas Scheiffer and said that the government was in no hurry to reopen the market and that the report would be studied carefully.

Johanns said that if Japan has questions after reviewing the report, he would send senior USDA officials to Japan or welcome a Japanese delegation.
 

mrj

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frenchie said:
MRJ said:
Sandhusker said:
Write this down as something you and I agree on, Frenchie. Apparently, there is a new standard called "sound science". It has never been used before and is used only sparingly on certain products - well, actually ONE product and then, only in certain situations.


Sandhusker, isn't that what the NY beef dealer was trying to do???? The Japanese customer ordered those cuts. In that case, the wholesaler should NOT have given the customer what he ordered since it was not allowed under the agreement.




MRJ

M.R.J

If the N.Y beef dealer did not know the export specs ...what the hell is he doing in the export business.

All this crap about them being set up..the Japanese tested your program and N.Y beef failed.nuff said

frenchie, and Sandhusker, I did not intend to convey the idea that I believe the NY dealer was innocent in this.

The crack about "giving the customer what he wants" was intended as a rather sick joke.

I'm not sure anyone should trust beef dealers in NYC about anything. Maybe the trade or sales of meat there need to see some daylight, too!

However, there were plenty of failures on that shipment, from the order to the failures of inspectors needs really strong investigation. NOTHING about that deal adds up, IMO.

At the least, everyone involved in attempting to export beef needs to be trained and then tested, and put under bond to assure as much care and expertise and HONESTY is used in trading the beef as there is in those producing the cattle that become the beef destined for export, IMO.
MRJ
 

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