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U.S. Resumes Beef Imports From Japan [Aug 24, 2012]

Two- Year Ban on Japanese Beef Lifted

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given its stamp of approval for Japanese beef to re-enter the United States. Beef exports from Japan to the U.S. were halted after a two year period where Japan was managing a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak that occurred in April 2010.

The USDA has carefully reviewed Japan’s food safety measures - looking not only at disease prevention but also their food safety precautions with regards to radioactive contamination. This is major concern especially after the Fukushima nuclear crisis that occurred in Japan last year.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture made a review of our radiation safety measures and gave a nod to it, so the timing to slaughter for exports remains unchanged," the official said.

The bulk of the beef that is exported from Japan is Wagyu, which is a type of genetically predisposed beef with intense marbling and have higher yields of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Figures from 2009 exports show that Japan exported 565 tons of beef to the U.S. with a value of $13.74 million.


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