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What???..Japan Near Relaxing Beef-Testing Standards For BSE

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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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South East Kansas
I thought that SH said they had already given up on testing 20 months and younger. This article says they are considering giving up on it.

Japan Near Relaxing Beef-Testing Standards For BSE - Govt

March 11, 2005 3:46 a.m.

TOKYO (AP)--Food safety experts in Japan neared agreement Friday on relaxing beef-testing standards for mad cow disease - a development likely to help clear the way toward resuming U.S. beef imports after a 15-month-old ban.

Japan currently requires testing of all beef products for the fatal, brain-wasting disease, and has barred U.S. beef imports that have not undergone such tests.

The Food Safety Commission is considering whether to waive tests on Japan-raised cattle age 20 months or younger. That would ease the way to resume U.S. beef imports from cows of a similar age - a proposal made by the United States and backed earlier this month by a Japanese government panel, based on claims that younger cattle are considered less at risk.

"The discussion is moving forward, basically to accept (the revision)," said Takahisa Murakami, a Cabinet Office official in charge of food safety.

Murakami said that commission members were discussing the wording of a final statement to the Health and Welfare Ministry - but that some disputed scientific details involving the risk evaluation method.

However, commission chairman Yasuhiro Yoshikawa said he hopes for a conclusion at the next meeting, expected later this month, Kyodo News agency reported.

Japan halted U.S. beef imports in December 2003 following the discovery of the United States' first case of mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Japan tentatively agreed in October to resume imports of beef products from younger cows, but discussions stalled over how to confirm the animals' ages.

Last month, a government panel recommended that Japan begin importing U.S. grade A40 beef, which comes mostly from cattle 12-17 months old.

A final decision on imported beef safety also has to be approved by the Food Safety Commission, then the agriculture and health ministries, before the ban can be even partially lifted.

Murakami said it was hard to predict how long that may take.

Washington has recently stepped up pressure on Japan to allow U.S. beef producers back into a market that was worth US$1.7 billion before the ban.

Lawmakers in the United States have warned of possible retaliatory sanctions, and U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to personally ask him to expedite the process.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to apply more pressure after she arrives in Tokyo next week on her Asia tour.
:roll: Sure hope that once that timetable is in place, nobody changes his\her mind. Does Rcalf have a Japanese chapter?
Tommy: "I thought that SH said they had already given up on testing 20 months and younger. This article says they are considering giving up on it."

Recent negotiations regarding "age verification" would lead to no other conclusion Tommy.

Can you show me where I stated that Japan had "already given up on testing"?????

Their actions would suggest that they have given up on testing or testing would still be part of the negotiation process.

I don't remember saying that they had given up on testing.


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