U.S. Beef Deemed Safe From BSE

July 27, 2006

1 Min Read
U.S. Beef Deemed Safe From BSE

Japan will resume imports of U.S. beef from cattle 20 months or younger, USDA Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced July 27.

"This has been a long process as we've confirmed that our system is in full compliance with Japan's import requirements and provided Japan with clear, scientific data confirming that American beef is extremely safe," Johanns says.

This announcement follows in the heels of USDA's decision to transition to an ongoing Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) surveillance program. This transition comes after having sampled more than 759,000 animals since June 1, 2004, and finding only two animals that tested positive for BSE. "We've accomplished our enhanced surveillance goals, and it's time to move forward with a level of surveillance that corresponds to the very low level of BSE in this country," says Johanns.

Going forward, the program will sample approximately 40,000 animals each year, and USDA will continue to collect samples from a variety of sites and from cattle populations where the disease is most likely to be detected.

USDA is obliged to provide a 30-day notice of the change to contractors performing the sampling and testing, so the new surveillance program likely will begin in late August.

To view an outline of the ongoing BSE surveillance plan, log on to www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/bse.shtml.

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