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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 14 - 20  > BSE risky parts contained in imported U.S. beef
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2009 October 14 - 20 [AGRICULTURE]

BSE risky parts contained in imported U.S. beef

October 11 & 14, 2009
The agriculture and health ministries on October 10 announced that U.S. beef shipped to Japan contained spinal columns, a high-risk BSE material which is required to be removed from meat under a bilateral agreement.

It is the third case that risky parts have been discovered since Japan resumed the import of U.S. beef in July 2006.

According to the two ministries, spinal column parts were found in 15 tons of beef shipped from Nebraska on September 16. They are now investigating if other beef packages imported at the same time contain risky materials.

The Japanese Government banned U.S. beef imports in December 2003 after beef contaminated with BSE was found in the U.S.

Since the ban was conditionally lifted in July 2007, the U.S. government has demanded a total removal of import regulations. This request was strongly expressed by Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in his recent meeting with Japanese Agriculture Minister Akamatsu Hirotaka.

The Democratic Party of Japan, leading the new government, promises in its “Manifesto” (policy platform) that if import regulations are violated, measures such as a total ban on beef imports will be swiftly taken again.

The new coalition government should carefully review the resumption of U.S. beef imports, which had been forcibly conducted by the former Liberal Democratic-Komei party government. - Akahata, October 11 & 14, 2009
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