Tuesday, March 15, 2005

MAD COW DISEASE

GAO: Ban on feed linked to mad cow not enforced The Food and Drug Administration is not doing enough to enforce the ban on feed linked to the spread of mad cow disease, congressional auditors say. The Government Accountability Office, the investigative wing of Congress, said that while the FDA has made improvements in its management of the feed ban, "various program weaknesses continue to undermine the nation's firewall against BSE." The report said the FDA had no uniform approach to identify the feed manufacturers and shippers that are subject to the feed ban but have not been inspected. It added that almost 20 percent of the 14,800 firms inspected since 1997 have not been re-inspected in five years or more. The GAO added that the FDA's feed-ban inspection guidance does not include instructions to routinely sample cattle feed to test for potentially banned material....
NMA to join USDA against R-CALF The National Meat Association was granted an emergency appeal to gain intervenor status in the R-CALF v. the U.S. Department of Agriculture suit over opening the border to Canadian live cattle. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said the NMA, which represents small independent meat packers and processors, could file a brief due Monday in its effort to establish harm to its members from the continuing border closure. NMA will argue that continued closure of the border risks plant closures, job losses and irreparable damage to its members. It is asking that the court require R-CALF to post a bond sufficient to protect NMA members from the devastating impact of the preliminary injunction as long as it remains in effect....
Alaska farmers, ranchers want border reopened to Canadian cattle Ranchers in Alaska are renewing their call to have the border reopened to live Canadian cattle. The ranchers renewed their call after a Montana judge ruled the border would remain closed to Canadian cattle exports, in spite of promises from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to lift the ban on the importation of live cattle. Ranchers in Alaska say that ruling could kill their industry. Ranchers in Alaska have always relied on Canadian cattle to replenish their herds. Last November, the Alaskan cattle industry said it was prepared to be the testing ground and start, once again, importing Canadian animals. The Alaska Farm Bureau put together a proposal to re-open the Alaska-Yukon border. The proposal was supported by Alaskan politicians and veterinarians. "We're so isolated and we have such a small ranching community that this is the perfect testing ground. If anything's going to goof up it'll happen up here on a small scale, isolated from the [other] states," said Jan Flora, who farms near Homer, Alaska....
Japan Unlikely to Give Beef Time Frame Japan is unlikely to give U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a timetable for lifting its ban on U.S. beef imports when she visits Tokyo this week, a top government spokesman said Tuesday. Rice will come to Japan on Friday during a tour of Asia, even as Washington has been pressuring Tokyo to the ban, imposed in December 2003 after the discovery of the United States' first case of mad cow disease. However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said chances are slim that the government will be able to tell Rice when U.S. beef will be allowed back into Japan. Japan's Food Safety Commission is now considering the issue....
Editorial: Where's the Beef? Not in Japan, at least if it came from the U.S. For over 14 months, Tokyo has closed its beef market, once worth about $1.5 billion to American producers, after the U.S. discovered one case of mad cow disease in December 2003. The U.S. is understandably losing patience with Japanese foot-dragging. U.S. President George W. Bush last week appealed directly to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to speed up the resumption of imports, and in a March 1 trade report to the U.S. Congress, the Bush administration said that it would take all appropriate steps to ensure that Japan quickly lift the ban. The issue is also likely to arise when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Japan later this month. The beef issue is shaping up to be a painful, and unnecessary, bone of contention in mostly friendly Japan-U.S. relations. The fact that science and health experts have exposed the safety concerns as overblown gives cause for concern that this is little more than old-fashioned protectionism at best, and at worst has some relation to Japanese suspicion that some foreign products are unsuitable to Japan's "uniqueness." It wouldn't be the first time. Lest we all forget, a Japanese agricultural minister back in 1987 said that beef imports should be banned because foreign meat would be indigestible in Japan-based on the bizarre claim that Japanese intestines are "longer" than Western ones....
US beef fix can't cut our Tokyo stake JAPANESE food safety officials have bowed to US pressure and removed a critical obstacle to the resumption of US beef imports and for now eased the risk of a trade war. However, the return of US beef producers to a market dominated by Australia is still months away and the Americans will regain only part of what they lost when Japan banned them after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad-cow disease) was detected in the US herd in December 2003. Australian exporters, who have 91 per cent of the Japanese export market, expect to sell a record 430,000 tonnes there this year. Over time, they expect pressure from American competition will reduce their annual sales to between 350,000 tonnes and 400,000 tonnes....

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4 comments:

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The Westerner said...

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chxiao said...
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