NCBA Statement: USDA Report on Veal Shipment to Japan
WASHINGTON - “We are pleased the USDA has now completed its investigation into the ineligible veal shipment that violated Japan-U.S. trade protocol on January 20. NCBA is hopeful a decision by the Japanese government to lift the ban on U.S. beef will be forthcoming.
“America’s beef industry worked hard to re-open this valuable market so our cattlemen could once again provide Japanese consumers with safe, quality U.S. beef products, and we were disappointed when Japan reinstated its ban on U.S. beef.
“As indicated in the USDA report, the ineligible veal shipment never represented a food safety concern, but rather a technical violation resulting from human error. USDA is taking action to ensure proper personnel have a clear understanding of which products are eligible for shipment to Japan, so that export protocols are strictly followed in the future.
“America’s cattlemen stand by their commitment to animal health and food safety. But we also rely on science-based standards for establishing trade protocol. Since June 1, 2004, the United States has sampled over 600,000 targeted animals for BSE and found only one confirmed case. This is evidence that the U.S. system is highly effective against the spread of BSE.
“The world’s leading scientists, medical professionals and government officials agree that BSE is not a public health risk in the United States, and there simply is no science-based reason for a continued ban on U.S. beef products.”
Statement by Jay Truitt, Vice President of Government Affairs