Japanese consumers continue to grow weary of beef safety, especially after the weekend announcement that Japan has identified its 16th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Meanwhile, U.S. politicians are threatening sanctions is Japan doesn't abide by its October 2004 agreement to resume beef trade with the United States. But while U.S. cattle groups and legislators continue to spar over whether to reopen live trade with Canada, Japan consumer groups are gaining momentum in slowing the reintroduction of U.S. beef in the Japanese food supply.
AP reports say the infected animal is a 9-year-old Holstein cow from northern Japan. "All meat, internal organs and parts from this cattle will be incinerated, and there is no danger that they will be circulated in the market," an Agriculture Ministry statement says.
Currently a Japanese government panel has approved waiving tests for cattle aged 20 months or younger. A Japan's food safety board is considering the change in requirements. The final decision rests with Japan's Food Safety Commission, which meats again today.