Japan Wants Resolution of US Age Restrictions on Beef

JAPAN - Eight Japanese industry groups have submitted a joint request to the Japanese government, asking for an early resolution of the US/Japan beef import protocol negotiations, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 19 November 2007
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It reports that the groups from the meat and food business sectors have proposed progressive steps towards the normalisation of US beef trade.

This includes a call for an initial change of the current cattle age limitation of under 21 months to under 31 months.

This would be followed by a full removal of the age restriction if the world animal health organisation (OIE) upgrades the US classification to "negligible risk".

MLA reports that the request was made after five months of little progress on the US/Japan negotiations.
As Japan requires consultations through its Food Safety Commission prior to any changes concerning import regulations, the process of altering the current protocol is expected to take some time, even after the bi-lateral agreement is made.

MLA says the Japanese Government has reaffirmed its position to consider the beef trade issue based on scientific assessment, when the US President and Japanese Prime Minister met in Washington last week.

Source: North Queensland Register
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