| October 25, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: Beef trade between
Japan and the U.S. should resume soon according to a recently
reached agreement between trade negotiators for both countries.
The re-opening of trade lines is still contingent on
the carrying out of outstanding regulatory processes.
Under terms of the agreement the US will be permitted
to sell beef to Japanese importers from animals below
21 months of age, and specified risk materials, such
as spinal cords, must be removed from all animals.
"The agreement reached in Tokyo will enable our
beef trade to resume under a special marketing program.
We then will review that program after six months of
operation, with a view toward returning trade to more
normal patterns,” said US agriculture secretary
Japan banned imports of US beef last December following
the discovery of a single case of BSE in Washington
state. Until the trade ban was imposed, Japan was the
largest market for US beef and beef products with sales
in 2003 before the ban was imposed exceeding US$1.7bn.
Exports in total account for well over 10% of the total
value of US beef output.
The agreement was welcomed by J. Patrick Boyle, president
of the American Meat Institute.