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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 23 - 29  > JCP opposes lifting restrictions on U.S. beef imports
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2007 May 23 - 29 [AGRICULTURE]

JCP opposes lifting restrictions on U.S. beef imports

May 24, 2007
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) at its general session held in Paris on May 22 adopted a resolution categorizing the United States as a “controlled risk” for BSE.

The U.S. government is increasing its pressure on Japan to lift the ban on imports of U.S. beef from cattle 20 months or older on the grounds of the international rule that “controlled risk” nations may export beef irrespective of the age of cattle.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa at a news conference on May 23 said, “The OIE decision itself does not change Japan’s import conditions.”

Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Kami Tomoko commented on this question as follows:

“Unlike Japan, the U.S. is testing less than one percent of cattle. Besides, the U.S. is feeding meat-and-bone meal, including risk material, to livestock other than cattle. So, there remains a danger of cross-contamination in meat processing plants.

The sloppy management in the U.S. has not been redressed at all despite the Food Safety Commission’s call for improvements.

Even though the OIE classifies the U.S. as a ‘controlled risk’ country, it is unacceptable to change the restrictions on U.S. beef imports under the present circumstances.

The repeated violations of U.S. beef import regulations are caused by structural problems as the JCP has pointed out.

The government must stop importing U.S. beef until the United States conducts blanket testing as Japan does and establishes a special production process to meet Japan’s standards for safety.”

The National Liaison Association to Safeguard the Food and the Health of the Nation (Zenkoku-Shokkenren) on May 22 handed over to Kami about 190,000 signatures calling for reconsideration of resumption of U.S. beef imports and for mandatory labeling of origin.

Kami said, “Unlike in Japan, meat-and-born meal is not prohibited in the U.S. It is absolutely unacceptable to completely lift restrictions on U.S. beef imports.”
- Akahata, May 24, 2007
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