Japan considers easing import restrictions for American and French beef

Fourth Estate Cooperative Staff

Tokyo, Japan (4E) – Nearly a decade after banning U.S. beef over mad cow disease, Japan on Tuesday decided to ease restrictions on import of American and French beefs. Since 2003, Japan, once America’s largest beef importer, only allowed import of meat of cattle aged below 20 months.

Speaking at a press conference, Health, Labour and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura said that the government is considering raising the limit from current 20 to 30 months from February 1 for cattle coming from both the U.S. and France.

He added that they are waiting for Health Ministry’s Council approval for the same. Currently, Japan has completely banned beef from cattle raised in the Netherlands.

The minister told Kyodo that the talks are underway between the Japanese and Dutch governments to allow imports of cattle aged up to 12 months.

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