|March 26, 2004,
just-food.com: The US Department of Agriculture
is considering a compromise to meet Japan’s continuing
demand that it test all cattle for BSE. USDA officials
have been in talks that would allow a private enterprise
to test all beef destined for the Japanese market.
The move is being considered as part of a plan to reopen
the borders for American cows in the Japanese marketplace,
according to a spokesman for Creekstone Farms Premium.
Creekstone officials argue that such an agreement would
ease the path for the Japanese authorities to start
permitting US imports of beef again.
Kevin Prenz, vice president for operations at Creekstone’s
Kansas plant, is reported by Kyodo News as saying that
his company had not yet received a formal answer from
the department, but that talks with USDA officials in
Washington had left him “cautiously optimistic”
that approval would be granted.
Following the discovery late last year of BSE in a
cow in Washington state, Japan is stipulating that the
US test all slaughtered cattle for BSE before it resumes
imports of beef from the US.