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Japan Says No Immediate Plans To Relax Conditions On U.S. Beef

05 June 2007

JAPAN - Japan has no immediate plans to relax its strict conditions on imports of U.S. beef, despite a decision by an international body saying some restrictions were not necessary, the government said May 23.

Japan allows imports of U.S. beef only from cattle not more than 20 months old, citing concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which is believed to be more likely to affect older animals. The U.S. wants that restriction eased.

The World Organization for Animal Health recently said the United States was a "controlled risk nation," a category that means countries can export beef irrespective of the animal's age, according to Toshio Katagai, a health ministry official.

The organization's decision was reached at a meeting in Paris to discuss the safety of animal products.

However, Japan will not immediately revise its policy on U.S. beef, the government said May 23.

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Source: High Plains Journal


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