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Bob Hoff 11/01/05 Japanese panel adopts U.S. beef report
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: November 01, 2005

Washington Ag November 1, 2005 A panel of Japans Food Safety Commission this week approved a report that says U.S. beef from cattle 20 months of age and younger is essentially as safe as Japanese beef if proper procedures are followed. That completes one more step in the process needed before Japan reopens its borders to U.S. beef imports which were halted when BSE was discovered in a Washington state cow of Canadian origin back in 2003.

Jay Truitt, National Cattlemens Beef Association Government Affairs Vice-President called the development the first ray of hope in a long time.

Truitt: The next occasion for this group to come together is in the full Food Safety Commission I think on November 2nd. So then hopefully we will initiate the full public comment period and some decisions will begin to come about that will allow U.S. beef in before the end of the year.

Over the weekend, Japans prime minister reshuffled his cabinet. Truitt calls that a positive development saying Japan is ready to increase its presence in the world marketplace.

Before the BSE related ban, Japan was the largest export customer for U.S. beef, an annual market worth 1.4 billion dollars.

Im Bob Hoff.

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