Taiwan Says Risk From Canadian Beef Very Low

TAIWAN - A Taiwan advisory committee has determined the risk of mad cow disease from Canadian beef is very low, a food safety official said on Tuesday, possibly paving the way for the lifting of a four-year ban.
calendar icon 30 May 2007
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Hsieh Ting-hung, deputy director of the Department of Food Safety, told Reuters the government was planning to hold an inter-agency meeting soon and if officials agreed to lift the ban, a change could be approved by the cabinet and put into effect in as little as two weeks.

The panel's conclusion followed a decision by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to soften its security rating on Canadian and United States cattle, he said.

The OIE's classified Canada as a "controlled risk" country for the disease after examining how authorities there had stepped up controls for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) following discovery of Canada's first domestic cases in 2003.

"Information provided by the Canadian government on control measures have been acceptable to the evaluation committee in previous meetings," said Hsieh, adding that the OIE offered a strong, transparent evaluation of Canadian beef.

"The committee, after having seen all the information, has not said there were any big problems," said Hsieh. "For our people to once again eat Canadian beef, in terms of risk, it's very, very low."

Source: Canada.com
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