Japan Easing Decade-Long Ban on American Beef Imports

Jan 30, 2013 07:04 PM EST

  • print
Cattle rancher Gary Price watches his herd as they seek shade in 103 degree heat on his ranch in Blooming Grove, Texas
(Photo : Reuters Staff)

A ban on U.S. beef imports in place since "mad cow disease" outbreaks in 2003 has been eased by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The change will take effect on Monday, January 28.

The move was a further relief from 2006 rules that mandated only cows 20 months and younger could be imported, a step back from a full ban in 2003. Japan will now allow U.S. cows 30 months and younger to be brought into Japan.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association released a statement saying that the change "will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional exports of U.S. beef."

Like Us on Facebook

"This is great news for cattlemen and women and is a significant milestone in our trading relationship with Japan," said NCBA President J.D. Alexander. "Japan is a great market for U.S. beef and we look forward to continuing to meet Japanese consumer demands. This move is an important step forward in paving the way toward greater export opportunities to one of our largest export markets."

Japan is an important market for U.S. beef exports, accounting for nearly $849 million and 130,000 metric tons in 2012, making it the second largest export market for U.S. beef.

Mad Cow Disease

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as "mad cow disease," infects cattle and causes them to show behavioral and neurological aberrations. Infected cows' brains appear to have holes when examined microscopically. The infectious agent of the disease can spread to humans through eating meat from an infected animal, and manifests as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The discovery of mad cow disease in American cows in December 2003 resulted in massive import bans against American beef from approximately two dozen nations, although many rescinded or eased those bans in the ensuing years. Japan has taken a more cautious stance, and the latest development represents a big opportunity for the U.S. cattle industry.

Lasting ffects of the Japanese import ban are apparent in comparisons between 2003 and 2012 statistics. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2003 ranchers exported 375,455 metric tons of beef to Japan, worth $1.391 billion. In 2012, that figure dropped to 158,646 metric tons, worth $874 million.

Challenges Ahead

The cattle industry still faces increasing pressure from rising grain prices. A drought, coupled with competition from ethanol, has greatly increased the cost of feed and raised operating costs for cattle ranchers.

Ana Puchi-Donnelly, an agricultural commodities trader in London, deemed this year the "worst drought in the last 50 to 70 years in one of the hottest years on record."

Although it remains to be seen whether cattle production can meet the new demand from Japan, the cattle industry is pleased nonetheless.

"This announcement is a shot in the arm to a market and producers facing continued drought, high input costs and increasing federal regulation," said Alexander.

 

 

© 2014 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Featured Video : Cocktails At The Garret With Nicky Hilton
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
The Paleo Diet Explained

Low-Carb Diets Like Atkinson vs Low-Fat Diets: Study Shows They’re Both The Same

Low-carb diets and low-fat diets have the same effects on patients who go through them, recent study released in The Journal for the American Medical Association suggests.

watermelons

SIX BENEFITS OF WATERMELONS YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT

Watermelons are a national summer treasure. These luscious fruits are as eye catching with their rich red color as they are as tasty. Watermelon enthusiasts around the globe have discovered multiple benefits this fruity piece of heaven has to offer. Aside from being tasty, watermelons offer plenty of other health benefits you are probably not aware of. Here are six reasons you should indulge in a watermelon fetish.

Gummy Bears

Gummy Bear Penis Recalled After Public Outcry

Parents in New Zealand were served quite a treat when a visit to the candy store turned out to be a traumatic experience. Gummy bears, a treat popular with kids across the world, got to the wrong side of parents when gummies shaped in the form of penises were found inside the packs. The inappropriately shaped gummies caused furor and uproar from the larger conservative South Island public, branding the lollies as offensive.

Food Tech
Organic Fruits And Vegetables

Cry Fest in Maine After Thief Steals Onions Grown by Fifth Graders For Homeless Shelter

Albert S. Hall School in Waterville, Maine had its fifth grade project attacked when the children’s growing onions were robbed right at the time of harvesting.

Woman in work out gear

Types of Milk And Their Fat Content

In today's world, milk comes in many different shapes and packages. From fat free milk to whole milk to 1%-2% fat milk to skimmed milk, we have it all. So how do fitness enthusiasts get the best deal out of their milk? How do you ensure you get all the nutrition from a glass of milk without all the unnecessary fat to bulge out your waistline despite endless painstaking crunches? Here is a list of the major milk types being produced in today's market.

1

Long-Awaited Diet Pill Gets U.S. Approval

A new diet pill Contrave got approval to be sold in the United States on Wednesday, only the third obesity treatment in more than a decade to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Real Time Analytics