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April 1 -The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has welcomed Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack's trade mission to Japan next week.
appreciate Secretary Vilsack's efforts to strengthen the relationship between
the U.S. and Japan
when it comes to trade in agricultural products between our two countries,” NCBA
president Steve Foglesong said Thursday. “Japan
is one of our top trading partners and it's critical that the U.S. continues to engage with Japan and all
of our international trading partners about the necessity of abiding by
science-based international guidelines in beef trade.”
a detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. in 2003, Japan
closed its borders to U.S.
beef. Today, Japan only
allows beef products from cattle under 21 months of age, costing U.S. producers an
estimated $1 billion in lost export revenue each year.
1990, USDA's BSE surveillance program has shown that BSE in the U.S. cattle
herd is virtually non-existent. Internationally, it is likely that BSE will be
fully eradicated from the planet within the next 10 to 15 years. The World
Organization for Animal Health (OIE), has classified the Unites States as a
controlled risk country for BSE - the same designation as Japan. This classification means
that all beef products, regardless of age, can be safely traded as long as
specified risk materials are removed.
encouraged to see that the Obama administration has announced that it intends
to engage Japan
in discussions about science-based import standards. Japan's
failure to apply the OIE guidelines continues to result in significant losses
for the U.S.
beef industry - limiting us to about 25% of our potential market there,”
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