NCBA Statement on Resumption of Beef Exports to Japan
WASHINGTON - "America's cattlemen are pleased that Japanese consumers can finally enjoy our high quality U.S. beef once again in their restaurants and on their tables at home. We thank U.S. trade officials, the Administration, and members of Congress for the leadership they have shown during these prolonged negotiations.
"After months of dialogue between Japanese and U.S. officials, visits, reports, analysis and investigative tours, Japan has learned what we have known all along - the U.S. food safety system is second to none in the world. Our beef is valued by American and international consumers alike for being safe, delicious, nutritious and affordable.
"Today's announcement represents a move toward trade policy that is based on sound scientific principles, and it is an appropriate first step. But this step comes with product limitations on U.S. beef that are far too restrictive for American cattlemen to accept without an assurance by Japan to expand trade in the near future.
"We will continue to insist on science-based principles as we work with our trading partners to regain full and normal beef trade. The world's leading scientists, medical professionals and government officials agree that the prevalence of BSE in the United States is extraordinarily low. There is simply no scientific reason to ban any of our U.S. beef products.
"Producing the safest beef in the world is a top priority for our cattlemen. That's why we have worked with the government and top scientists for more than 17 years to build, maintain and expand the safeguards that protect our cattle and our food supply. The United States has done more than any other country to prevent the spread of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and maintain the safety of the beef we provide our customers at home and around the world."