U.S. Senators protest Japanese Kobe beef in Senate Dining Room

US - Two senators from a western cattle-growing state are protesting an entree of Kobe beef they recently noticed on the menu in the Senate Dining Room.
calendar icon 15 February 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

We were puzzled that the United States Senate Dining Room featured Japanese beef instead of homegrown Montana beef," Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Democrats, wrote Wednesday to Robert Savidge, the restaurant's general manager.

Montana cattle "graze on the high plains and in the mountain valleys so their beef is natural, delicious and healthy," the senators wrote.

Savidge did not return a call for comment.

Japanese beef is a sensitive issue for many farm-state lawmakers. The country resumed limited U.S. beef imports last year after a ban that lasted more than two years. The ban, issued because of concerns about mad cow disease, irked American ranchers and caused a strain between the two countries.

Japan was the most lucrative overseas market for U.S. beef before December 2003, when the country imposed its original ban. That year, U.S. beef brought in $1.4 billion from Japan. The ban was lifted in late 2005, only to be imposed again in early 2006 after inspectors found prohibited animal parts in a veal shipment from New York.

Members of Congress spent much of that time lobbying Japanese officials to reopen their markets

Source: International Herald Tribune

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