|August 27, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: U.S. beef will
continue to be unwelcome in Japan at least through the
end of the year, U.S. meat industry officials reported.
The Japanese border will remain closed to U.S. beef
imports as the two countries continue to debate acceptable
levels of BSE testing. While the US believes its current
testing rate is sufficient, Japan is calling for the
US to introduce testing of 100% of its slaughtered cattle
before any US beef can be sold in Japan.
"As I heard yesterday, there is not going to be
any change in the Japanese (beef) markets now until
after the first of the year," Larry Pope, president
and chief operating officer of US meat processor Smithfield
Foods, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Once the main destination for US beef exports, Japan
closed its borders to US beef in December following
the discovery of a case of BSE, or mad cow disease,
in Washington State.