The United States and Japan will begin a series of technical working group meetings next week with the objective of resuming beef trade between the two countries in the summer. The first meeting will be held May 18 and 19, in Tokyo with subsequent meetings to be held in June and July.
On April 23-24, a multi-agency U.S. Government delegation (including USDA, FDA, State and USTR) held consultations with the Government of Japan in Tokyo on the resumption of beef trade. Those discussions resulted in an agreement to form a joint technical working group to address several key issues, including:
- The definition of BSE and methods of testing;
- The definition of Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) and the method for removal;
- Appropriate surveillance; and
- Appropriate feed ban implementation, among others.
The completion of the working group's three meetings will provide policy level officials with a full review of the technical information.
Members of the U.S. technical group include:
- Dr. Peter Fernandez, Associate Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Dr. George Gray, Executive Director, Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard University - School of Public Health
- Dr. William James, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of International Affairs, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Dr. Daniel McChesney, Director, Office of Surveillance and Compliance, Center for Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Dr. Gary Smith, Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University