Senators Bullish On MT Beef

US - Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester want to make an in-your-face, or rather an in-your-mouth statement about Montana beef when the Japanese prime minister visits the White House for a formal dinner this week.
calendar icon 26 April 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The senators have asked the White House to serve Montana steaks to the leader of Japan, which currently restricts beef imports from America.

Baucus and Tester sent a letter Monday to White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford requesting that she serve beef at the White House State Dinner for Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and his delegation.

“We kindly ask that you offer the finest cuts of quality Montana beef in friendship and in good taste,’’ they wrote.

They added that Montana beef is peerless in its quality and tastiness but that many of the world’s consumers, including those in Japan, are deprived of it “due to unscientific and unjustified trade barriers.’’

Tarah C. Donoghue, deputy press secretary for First Lady Laura Bush, said in response that the White House does not release any menus until the evening the president and Mrs. Bush’s guests have their dinner.

In a press release, Baucus and Tester said they hoped that a “taste test’’ by the prime minister would help end the beef ban. Japan imposed the ban in 2003 after a cow in Washington state tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. Japan eased the ban last July, but still only allows shipments of U.S. beef from cattle 20 months of age or younger.

But Baucus and Tester say international health standards certify the safety of all U.S. beef, bone-in and boneless, regardless of age.

Source: Helena Independent Record
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