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American Meat Institute Praises Interim Breakthrough on U.S.-Japan Beef Trade

Saturday, October 23, 2004

"We are encouraged by the interim breakthrough on U.S. Japan beef trade, announced today by the governments of the U.S. and Japan. U.S. negotiators are to be commended for their perseverance in seeking a restoration of trade.

We value the Japanese market and look forward to the opportunity to provide our beef products to Japanese consumers in the near future.

The U.S. has been a leader in implementing preventive strategies to prevent BSE in cattle more than a decade long before any case of BSE was detected in a single, imported cow in Washington State last year. Indeed, the multiple firewalls that we have established to prevent and contain the disease if it did occur here have served us well. Despite enhanced BSE surveillance, which began in June 2004, none of the thousands of tests that have been done have detected a single, additional case of BSE in the U.S.

We welcome the full review of our cattle and beef production practices by the Office of International Epizootics that was announced today. We are confident that upon the completion of that review in July 2005, the U.S. and Japan can reestablish full beef trade.

U.S. beef is among the safest in the world. While we believe our animal health and beef safety systems are so comprehensive that full restoration of trade is justified today, we will work cooperatively to provide the additional assurances necessary so next summer, the Japanese consumer will have full access to American beef that they have come to value."

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
SVP, Public Affairs
David Ray
VP, Public Affairs

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