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OTTAWA, November 12, 2004 - A very important step has been achieved towards the re-opening of a key Asian market. Taiwan has confirmed its intention to conditionally grant Canada access for boneless beef and committed to send a technical team for a first-hand look at Canada's food safety and animal health measures. Results from that visit could lead to a re-opening of the Taiwanese market in the near future.

"The continued progress being made in Asia is extremely positive for the Canadian beef industry," said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell. "It is a reflection of the intense efforts and ongoing discussions taking place to re-enforce the stringent measures we have in place to ensure the safety of our beef."

A Taiwanese Department of Health committee looking at the issue commended the food safety measures Canada has put in place, and cited Canada's animal feed controls, BSE surveillance program and cattle identification/traceability system as key factors in its recommendation. As part of the process of market opening, inspectors from Taiwan will visit Canada to tour packing plants, a slaughterhouse, a feed mill, a cattle ranch and a testing facility conducting BSE surveillance. They will also receive an on-site explanation of Canada's cattle identification system.

Prior to Taiwan's ban on imports of Canadian beef, Taiwan was Canada's fifth largest export market for beef and one of our fastest-growing markets. In 2002, Canadian exports of beef to Taiwan totaled almost $20 million.

The planned visit by Taiwanese inspectors follows a similar inspection mission conducted by Hong Kong officials in late October as part of their process to reconsider their current import restrictions. Hong Kong officials are currently reviewing results of that mission.

Here's a newer one

Canada expects beef ban to be removed

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005,Page 10
Canada expects several Asian markets that banned Canadian beef after the country reported a case of mad cow disease in May 2003 to resume imports soon, Canadian Beef Export Federation President Ted Haney said.

China is expected to allow the import of beef and other cattle product to resume gradually in the first half of this year, probably after Japan, South Korea and Taiwan resume imports in the next few months, Haney said in an interview in Hong Kong.

Canada's efforts to have bans dropped in Asia and the US were set back this month when the country reported two more cases of the disease, called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

The disease has a fatal human variant.

"Countries suspended negotiations on resuming imports briefly and asked for more information about the new cases," said Haney, a member of a Canadian trade delegation to China.

Talks, while slightly delayed, had resumed, he said.

The recent cases didn't hurt sales in Hong Kong, which allowed imports of Canadian beef to resume on Nov. 30, Haney said.
Mike said:

Response...The "conditionally" refers to boneless product UTM. That will be easy to fulfill as most cattle in the U.S. are slaughted well under thirty months of age.
Mike said:

Mike, your mention of the word CONDITIONALLY is appropriate. These leaks to the press of any tidbit of information is getting sickening.

Beef News
U.S. officials: Taiwan not a done deal

by Pete Hisey on 3/29/05 for Meatingplace.com

The reports last week that the Taiwan would reopen its market to U.S. beef on April 16 were "premature," said Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services J.B. Penn during a press conference Monday. "We're very, very close but we're not there yet," he said. Penn said that several minor issues would have to be settled before a formal agreement can be reached.

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