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Taiwan lifts ban

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Feb 10, 2005
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Taiwan will lift a ban on U.S. beef imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease 14 months ago in a Washington state heifer, the Agriculture Department said Thursday.

In the year before the ban, Taiwan imported more than $76 million in U.S. beef and beef products, the department said.

That amounts to about 5 percent of the biggest market for U.S. beef, Japan, which still has not resumed beef imports. Japan imported more than $1.5 billion in beef in 2003, according to the department.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Taiwan's decision is further progress in reopening global markets to U.S. beef.

"Our goal is the resumption of normal beef trade throughout the world and, we are working tirelessly to that end," Johanns said.

Taiwan's government will allow imports of boneless beef from animals younger than 30 months, effective April 16. The age cutoff is based on the belief that inspection spreads with age.

Mad cow disease, or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is a brain-wasting ailment that in humans causes a variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The disease is a degenerative, fatal brain disorder that has killed more than 150 people, mostly in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1990s.

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