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Kato

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It looks like the Japanese have always considered the possibility of BSE in America. This latest cow just may not change anything.

Japan to seek import resumption despite new U.S. mad cow case
(Kyodo) _ Japan will continue procedures to remove its import ban on American beef despite the finding of another cow suspected to be infected with mad cow disease in the United States, a senior agricultural ministry official said Monday.
The government is studying terms for the resumption of beef imports from the United States on "the assumption that there is a risk" of finding more cows infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Mamoru Ishihara, vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said at a press conference.

"We wouldn't be surprised" if a second BSE-infected American cow is confirmed, he added.

Last Saturday, U.S. Agricultural Department officials said that while a cow has been tested positive for BSE, a series of tests will be carried out to determine whether the animal is infected with the brain-wasting disease.

Japan has banned U.S. beef imports since the discovery of the disease in the United States for the first time in December 2003.

Ishihara said agriculture minister Yoshinobu Shimamura will hold a telephone conference with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in the middle of this week to discuss Japan's resumption of U.S. beef imports as well as farm trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization.
 

Kato

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Taiwan, on the other hand ..... :???:

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan will reinstate a ban on U.S. beef imports if the United States confirms it has found a second case of mad cow disease, a senior health official said on Monday.
The United States said on Friday an older cow had tested positive for the brain-wasting disease, but a final round of tests in Ames, Iowa and at a laboratory at Weybridge, England would be carried out to confirm the result.

"We are waiting for the results from the UK laboratory. If the result is positive then we will reinstate the ban," Chen Lu-hung, director of the Bureau of Food Safety, said by phone.

Taiwan will continue to allow imports of beef until the results of the tests are released, Chen said.

Taiwan, previously the United States' sixth-largest market for beef by value, conditionally lifted an import ban in April, allowing boneless U.S. beef, after concluding that prevention measures were sufficient to ensure the safety of U.S. beef.

Despite some government opposition to the lifting of the ban -- by those who said it was too early to confirm the safety of U.S. beef -- Chen said the health department would stand by its decision to reopen the market.

The conditions on lifting the ban also specified that only beef from cattle under 30 months' old and which did not contain any material seen at higher risk of transmitting the disease such as brain and spine, would be permitted.

Japan and South Korea, the number one and number three markets for U.S. beef exports, respectively, are yet to allow the product back into the market.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said it may need up to two weeks to carry out the tests on the animal, which was first tested in November and which did not enter the human food or livestock feed supply as it was unable to walk when delivered for slaughter.

The United States suffered its only confirmed case of mad cow in December 2003, halting billions of dollars worth of beef exports as countries around the world banned the import of U.S. beef.

Taiwan imported around $76.5 million of beef prior to the implementation of the ban in December 2003.
 

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