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Japanese officials have confirmed that their Ministry of Agriculture has identified that nation's 28th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease.

The disease was found in a 68-month-old Holstein dairy cow on the northern island of Hokkaido.

Japan's national policy is for every cow to be tested, and it said that the meat and intestines from the infected animal will be destroyed, with no chance that it will enter the food supply.

In the US, of course, where the government tests about one percent of the cattle population, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been trying to get the Japanese government to reopen its borders to American beef imports. Those borders were closed when the first case of mad cow was found in the US in December 2003, and then reopened late last year, only to be closed again early this year when beef containing spinal matter – specifically banned by the agreement reopening the border – was found in a Japan-bound shipment.

Meanwhile, USDA has gone on record as saying that, based on its studies and surveillance, it believes that there are, at maximum, a total of between four and seven BSE cases in the US, and that a reduction in surveillance seems entirely appropriate.
KC's View:
Once again, USDA's math is stupefying.

Japan tests every cow, and has so far found 28 cases of BSE. The US tests one percent of its cattle, and we have fewer than 10.