JCP calls for government compensation for damage from mad-cow disease

As a result of mad-cow disease infected cattle being found in Japan, the
livestock and meat industries have seen a big slump in sales, and consumers
are greatly worried about the safety of meat.

The Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers Group on October 17 handed in a
16-point proposal calling for food safety above all else, to the
agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister and to the health, labor, and
welfare minister.

The written request consists of two main demands: exhaust every possible
measure to ensure that only safe meat appear on the market and government
support and compensation to producers and retailers for damages.

Nakabayashi Yoshiko, JCP House of Representatives member in charge of
mad-cow disease measures, during the petition demanded that all uncertain
materials be banned from the market and that producers be paid a
compensation of 50,000 yen a cow.

On the farmers' side, the National Federation of Farmers Movement on the
same day petitioned the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries,
calling for safety measures, compensation for damages and interest-free
public loans. (end)