Government to resume U.S. beef imports without BSE-tests

The health and agriculture ministries on May 24 requested the Cabinet Office's Food Safety Commission to assess the BSE risk of U.S. and Canadian beef.

The two ministries intend to lift the December 2003 ban on U.S. and Canadian beef of cattle 20 months and younger, with high risk parts removed and on condition that cattle age certificates are submitted.

Akahata of May 25 criticized the government for trying to induce the panel to provide a recommendation that the ban on U.S. and Canadian beef can be lifted without BSE-tests.

Akahata pointed out that in the United States a strict and accurate age appraisal is impossible because there's no individual coding system like the one used in Japan. It also criticized the ministries for asking the panel to appraise domestic beef under the mandatory blanket BSE-test and the slovenly-controlled U.S. beef on the same footing, adding that unsafe beef may then enter Japan's market. - Akahata May 25, 2005

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.