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Japanese officials say that following their own investigation into the first discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, in the US, they remain unconvinced that the situation has been contained. Japan believes that both US and Canadian cattle remain vulnerable to mad cow outbreaks.

While both the US and Canada are pushing for Japan to drop its ban on US beef imports, Japan instead is asking the nations to adopt safety procedures similar to those practiced there.

Japan tests all the 1.3 million cattle it slaughters every year.

Japanese Agriculture Ministry representative Shukichi Kugita said, “U.S. safety measures compared to those of Japan are inadequate.”
KC's View:
While we know this isn’t accurate, it has seemed lately that the US government has been more interested in controlling the flow of information than testing more cattle and providing better traceability.

As long as this even appears to be the case, we think it will be hard to regain international confidence. After all, once mad cow has been discovered, it isn’t credible to say that the beef supply is safe just because we say it is.