US To Japan Beef Export Inspections To Ease

US - Entire shipments of US beef to Japan will no longer be inspected if meat processing plant inspections satisfy visiting officials.
calendar icon 3 May 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

The agreement will increase trade between the two countries, with the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) estimating exports to double as a result.

At present, beef imports into Japan are restricted based on the discovery of three cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the US since December 2003. South Korea and China have similar restrictions in place also.

Japan allows import of cattle aged 20 months or younger provided that slaughterhouses remove organs and other specified risk materials (SRMs), which contain 99 per cent of the disease within infected cattle.

Jay Truitt, vice president of government affairs at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) said that Japan had agreed to consider revising their inspection system to meet standards that are more reasonable and science-based.

"This represents another long-awaited but positive step toward normalizing trade of U.S. beef with Japan," he said. "More importantly, this represents a significant technical step on the part of Japan to make its policies consistent with international guidelines, including those of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)."

Source: FoodUSA
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