Japan eases up, says yes to imports of US beef regardless of age
JAPAN has given the go ahead for the import of American products from all US cattle, regardless of age, reports American Shipper
JAPAN has given the go ahead for the import of American products from all US cattle, regardless of age, reports American Shipper.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) secured the approval from Japan to remove the age restrictions on cattle which were introduced in Japan since late 2005 in the aftermath of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or 'mad cow' disease, that was discovered in a US cow in 2003.
'We are hopeful that Japan's decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies,' said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
The USDA estimates that this expanded access could increase US beef and beef product exports to Japan by as much as US$200 million a year, reports American Shipper.
In December 2003, Japan banned US beef and beef products following the detection of a BSE-infected cow in the US. In December 2005, the country restored partial access for US beef muscle cuts and offal from cattle 20 months of age and younger. Japan extended this to include beef and beef products from cattle less than 30 months of age in February 2013.
In April 2017, Japan eliminated its age-based BSE testing on domestic Japanese cattle, allowing similar age-based restrictions to be lifted on negligible BSE-risk trading partners, including the US.
'On 15 January 2019, Japan's Food Safety Commission (FSC) concluded eliminating the age restriction for beef from the United States, Canada and Ireland posed a negligible risk to human health,' USDA said.