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JPN lifts US beef ban Monday

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Feb 13, 2005
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JPN lifts US beef ban Monday

U.S. beef imports to resume Monday


The Asahi Shimbun


The government Monday will lift the two-year ban on U.S. beef imports despite consumers' doubts that U.S. measures can eliminate the risk of meat tainted by mad cow disease.

Officials said once the decision is finalized Monday, importers will be allowed to start buying U.S. beef, making it available to Japanese consumers around the Christmas holidays.

The Cabinet Office's Food Safety Commission on Thursday is expected to report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare that the risk of mad cow disease in the U.S. beef imports "is extremely low."The government will only allow U.S. beef from cattle 20 months old or younger, as long as safety measures, including the removal of high-risk parts, are observed.

Despite the commission's report, consumers are wary.

According to an Asahi Shimbun survey in late October, 67 percent of consumers said they would not eat U.S. beef if the ban is lifted.

Even the Food Safety Commission has heard the safety concerns directly from the public.

The commission received several thousand responses by Nov. 29 after soliciting public opinions about U.S. beef imports.

Many consumers questioned if the United States and its safety measures can ensure its beef carries no risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, the officials said.

Critics have said Tokyo's move to lift the ban despite such concerns shows that it is simply kowtowing to U.S. pressure.

Tokyo intends to reach an agreement on the beef imports with Washington by Sunday, the officials said. In fact, Japan already informed the United States about the resumption schedule for U.S. beef imports during working-level talks, and has unofficially concluded talks about the conditions for lifting the ban.

The government will explain the contents of the Food Safety Commission's report to the ruling coalition parties on Friday, the officials said.

After the announcement is made Monday, the government will immediately dispatch experts on animal quarantine and food hygiene to conduct safety checks at several meat-processing plants in the United States, the officials said.

The central government also intends to hold meetings at nine locations nationwide by Dec. 16 to explain the decision to resume U.S. beef imports.

(IHT/Asahi: December 7,2005)


Japan ready to lift ban on US beef

ABC Rural

Wednesday, 07/12/2005


Japan has apparently signalled that it is about to lift its two-year ban on US beef.

The ban imposed after an outbreak of mad cow disease in December 2003 has proved a boon for Australia's beef industry.

US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns would not give a date, but he told a farm journalists forum US efforts to re-enter Japan's market since a 2003 mad cow case are about to pay off.

"I really do think that the end is in sight, here."

Major industry groups predict, or say they've been told by Japanese officials, a formal announcement will come next week.

Even then, US Meat Export Federation spokesman Lynn Heinz says recovery will be slow.

"Possibly as long as four years before we return to that $US1.4 billion level of sales that we had in 2003," she said.

Japan will initially allow in only US beef from cattle younger than 21 months, unlikely to carry mad cow disease.


75.2% unwilling to eat U.S. beef, survey indicates

The Japan Times: Dec. 7, 2005

Although the government is likely to lift the ban on beef imports from the United States this month, 75.2 percent of surveyed consumers are unwilling to eat U.S. beef, according to results of a telephone survey released by Kyodo News on Tuesday.

The figure is up 2.7 percentage points over the previous survey taken a year ago.

The ratio of consumers willing to eat U.S. beef following Japan's resumption of imports was 21.2 percent, down 2.6 percentage points.

Conducted on Saturday and Sunday, the random survey included phone calls to 1,483 households with one or more eligible voters and received 1,009 valid replies.

Of the respondents who expressed unwillingness to eat U.S. beef, 62.5 percent cast doubt on the safety of the meat, while 20.6 percent said they can do without U.S. beef due to the availability of domestic and Australian beef.

Women intending to shun U.S. beef accounted for 82.9 percent of all female respondents, compared with 67.1 percent for men.

As to the question of what the government should do with respect to resuming American beef imports, 56.5 percent said it should call on the U.S. to conduct blanket testing of all slaughtered cattle for mad cow disease and 35.1 percent said there was a need to check whether conditions set for resumption of beef imports will be fully observed.

On Thursday, the Food Safety Commission is expected to recommend lifting the import ban on beef from cows aged up to 20 months as long as risky material is removed.

If the US exports any quantity to Japan, what will this to US prices of beef? Do to an existing shortage, in the US, will prices rise to a point of hurting demand?

Or will the US just import lower further beef, to make up the difference?
Japan Poulation 127,214,499 25% - 32,401,396

Canada Poulation 32,401,396

As long as things go smooth it looks like we're about back to normal except that Cargill and Tyson have stategically taken over control of 85% of the sluaghter capacity in Canada and likely moved up in America as well. Oh and Canadian producer are still having their cull cows stolen on a daily basis.

Congradulations every one.

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