Japan Will Ease Mad Cow Disease Restrictions on U.S. Beef

Pathogen Behind Mad Cow Disease Unstoppable

For only the second time in ten years, Japan will further ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports starting to allow entry of beef and beef products from cattle less than 30 months of age. They will implement the new regulation on February 1, 2013.Previously, a 2006 restriction limited U.S. beef imports to products from cattle under 20 months of age. Japan set that restriction when it allowed limited U.S. beef imports to resume after a cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was found in a U.S herd in 2003.Japan’s easing of restrictions on U.S. beef imports is a sign that there is more product demand than fear in the Asian nation about BSE, popularly known as Mad Cow Disease.

mad cow disease and Japan imports of U.S. beef

Opening Japan’s market to more U.S. beef will result in “hundreds of million of dollars in exports of U.S. beef to Japan in coming years,” according to a statement by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Kirk and Vilsack depicted the trade agreement as a “near normalization” of beef trade between the two nations. “This is great news for American ranchers and beef companies, who can now—as a result of this agreement—increase their exports of U.S. beef to their largest market for beef in Asia,” Ambassador Kirk said.

Kirk called it a “significant and historic step” that will grow American exports and jobs.

Japan banned U.S. beef in 2003 after the first cow with BSE was discovered near Mabton, WA. It took three years before it allowed some imports from the younger animals.

Japan’s independent Food Safety Commission (FSC) conducted a risk assessment in 2011 that found raising the age limit in conjunction of U.S. controls on specific risk materials (SRM) could address safety concerns.

land application sewage sludge

The expanded U.S. beef exports to Japan could reach the country by mid February and will likely put upward pressure on prices as American cattle numbers are at the lowest levels in 60 years. The drought affecting much of the U.S. has caused farmers and ranches to reduce their herds because dry lands aren’t producing enough to support the cattle.

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform gary@crossbow1.com.

About Gary R. Chandler

Public affairs and issue management strategist. Sustainability author and advocate. Founder of Crossbow Communications and Sacred Seedlings. @Gary_Chandler

This entry was posted in Food Safety, Health, Prion Disease and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *