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USDA: Japan agrees to ease restrictions on U.S. beef

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:50 a.m. HST, Jan 28, 2013

OMAHA, Neb. » Japan has agreed to ease some of its restrictions on U.S. beef, so exports to the Asian nation may grow.

The Agriculture Department announced the change today.

For several years Japan has restricted beef imports only to animals age 20 months or younger because of concerns about mad cow disease.

Starting Feb. 1, Japan will allow U.S. beef shipments to come from cattle up to 30 months old, which is a widely used standard.

Younger cattle are believed to pose less of a risk of carrying mad cow disease, but American officials had repeatedly criticized Japan's tough 20-month standard.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk this change is great news.

Japan banned all U.S. beef imports from 2003 to 2006 after the first case of mad cow disease in America.

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cojef wrote:
Trade intimidation because Japan imports immense quantity from Australia witin the 20 months guidelines. We, cattle feed lots use dead animal matter in their feed to cattle. This is blamed for the incidence of "mad cow" disease in American beef. Of course, the Brits also had restrictions on Americans beef, but with the recent news accounts that Irish meat packers are mixing horse with beef for consumption in England, the Brits can't be too restrictive our beef. It's all a mattter of taste, but do agree, have to respect the cultural traditions. While the Brits abhor horse meet the French consider it a delicacy. Go figure!
on January 28,2013 | 10:50AM
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