JCP urges government to request U.S. to BSE-test all beef cattle

The Japanese Communist Party in the House of Representatives agricultural committee meeting on January 27 demanded that the government request the United States to test all its beef cattle for BSE (mad cow disease).

JCP representative Takahashi Chizuko pointed out that safety cannot be secured even if the United States increases its test samples to 40,000 cows."In order to provide consumers with safe food and defend beef-related businesses,"Takahashi said, "The government must ask the United States to examine all its beef cows and remove all high-risk parts." She said that no concessions by the government are acceptable.

In the same committee meeting, Agriculture Minister Kamei Yoshiyuki revealed that the government had not known that EU only allows U.S. beef excluding high-risk parts.

The JCP representative also pointed out that major trading companies are taking advantage of the BSE problem to raise the price and hoard stocks. She said the government should give guidance so that small businesses can continue operations against such opportunist actions.

This was the first parliamentary question by the JCP Takahashi since she was elected last year from the Tohoku (Northeast) proportional representation bloc to the Lower House. (end)

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