Japan to Ease Import Restrictions on U.S. Beef

An article in The New York Times yesterday highlighted how Japan is set to ease a decade-old restriction on U.S. beef this week, finally allowing American ranchers and meatpackers to move past the mad cow scare and regain full access to what was once their most lucrative market.

A Japanese government council that oversees food and drug safety cleared a change in import regulations on Monday that would permit imports of meat from U.S. cattle aged 30 months or younger, rather than the current 20 months, according to materials distributed at the council’s meeting in Tokyo.

The change is set to take effect on Feb. 1 for U.S. beef processed after that date, and shipments could start arriving in Japan in mid-February, according to the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture. Bans remain on parts of cattle considered to carry a higher risk of transmitting the disease.

For more information: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/business/global/japan-to-ease-restrictions-on-us-beef.html?ref=business&_r=0

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