Japanese Beef Ban Draws Fire from Senators

Baucus, Grassley want Japan to remove restrictions.

Published on: Mar 17, 2010

Senators Max Baucus, D-Mont. and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman and ranking member respectively, of the Committee on Finance have urged the Japanese government to remove scientifically unfounded barriers to U.S. beef and bovine-origin gelatin imports. The Senators point out that the scientific evidence put forward by international arbiters confirms the safety of U.S. beef and that millions of Americans eat U.S. beef every day without any health problems.

"Japan continues to place scientifically-unwarranted restrictions on imports of U.S. beef due to alleged concerns about BSE," Grassley said. "The World Organization for Animal Health determined in 2007 that our beef, derived from cattle of all ages, is safe due to safeguards undertaken, yet Japan still limits imports to beef from animals age 20 months or less."

Grassley says every country that enjoys the benefits of international trade is obligated to follow the rules, whether the issue is product safety or fair competition in the financial services sector.

"The restrictions placed on U.S. beef is negatively impacting cattle producers and has led to the loss of jobs," Grassley said.