Japan's Evaluation of the Safety of U.S. Beef

Press Release

Date: Oct. 31, 2005
Location: Washington, DC

Japan's Evaluation of the Safety of U.S. Beef

Today Japan's Food Safety Commission made a decision that could move Japan closer to reopening its market to imports of U.S. beef. A subcommittee of the Food Safety Committee completed its deliberations on the safety of U.S. beef, and the Food Safety Committee will put out the subcommittee's report for public comment for a period of four weeks. The Japanese government could make a final decision following the comment period. According to press reports, the Japanese market could reopen in December. Even if Japan does resume imports of U.S. beef, it will permit only the importation of beef from cattle aged twenty months or younger. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, with jurisdiction over international trade, made the following comment on today's development.

"Today's action isn't the final step in the process of reopening Japan's market, but it may turn out to be important toward getting where we should have been a long time ago. I'm frustrated that this process has become so drawn out, but I hope the end is in sight. The science behind the safety of U.S. beef is sound, and there's no reason that Japanese consumers should continue to be denied access to the beef that we Americans eat every day."