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Japan easing restrictions on US beef, paving way for Tyson
Bloomberg | 10.10.2012
Japan easing restrictions on US beef, paving way for Tyson
By Aya Takada and Yasumasa Song
Japan, Asia’s largest beef importer, will consider taking additional steps after easing restrictions on U.S. shipments, widening opportunities for exporters such as Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) while ensuring supply to local retailers.
Japan’s health ministry will relax the age limit on U.S. beef to 30 months from 20 months next year after it receives approval from the nation’s Food Safety Commission as early as this month, according to Hideshi Michino, director at the ministry’s food-safety department. The threshold, imposed to safeguard against mad-cow disease, may be eased further to six years, he said in an interview without giving a timeframe.
The relaxation may increase purchases by Japan, which bought 10 percent more beef from the U.S. in the first half of 2012 because of a strong yen and concerns about the safety of domestic food after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima prefecture last year. Cattle futures in Chicago climbed to a record on Sept. 13, while surging corn and soybean prices boosted feed costs. Tyson gets 41 percent of its revenue from beef, according to data (TSN) compiled by Bloomberg News.
“We believe the safety of beef is ensured by eliminating risk materials from the meat, rather than limiting the age of cattle,” said Minoru Yamamoto, director at the international animal health affairs office of the agriculture ministry.
The commission will approve the 30-month limit probably by the end of this month, said Makoto Osone, an official with the food-safety group, without commenting on the six-year limit.
Japan imposed a ban on American beef following the first U.S. discovery of mad-cow disease in 2003, blocking sales of the meat to the biggest export market. The country resumed purchases from the U.S. in 2005 on condition that the meat must come from cattle at the age of 20 months or younger, which the U.S. said was unnecessarily stringent. Japan also requires exporters to remove materials that could transmit the disease before shipment.
While the U.S. government said Japan should comply with the international safety standard for the beef trade, U.S. exporters see the 30-month limit as helpful for them to restore sales to pre-ban levels, said Susumu Harada, senior director at the Tokyo office of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
“The new rule will help normalize beef trade as U.S. products for overseas markets mostly come from cattle age 24 months or younger,” he said.
The U.S. was the largest beef exporter to Japan after Australia in 2003, supplying 267,583 metric tons worth 128.5 billion yen ($1.6 billion), data from the agriculture ministry showed. Tyson, JBS SA, Cargill Inc. and National Beef Inc. are the biggest U.S. beef suppliers to Japan, according to Takemichi Yamashoji, senior marketing director at the Tokyo office of U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Japan imported 240,815 tons of beef in the first half of 2012, with 24 percent coming from the U.S., according to the ministry. Australia was the largest supplier with 153,938 tons,
Upcoming days of action
Oct to Nov: autumn of action against CETA in Europe incl. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Netherland, Slovenia, Spain... - details
27-28 Oct: mobilisation in Brussels against CETA - contact
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News from the movements
27-Oct-2016 ITFGlobal trade union leaders meeting in Panama have united in condemnation of TiSA (the Trade in Services Agreement) and CETA (the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement), highlighting the risks that both trade agreements pose to jobs and job security.
27-Oct-2016 PSIOn 12 October, the closing day of the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Fukuoka, around 250 delegates representing more than 70 PSI affiliates from 18 countries resolved to intensify the struggle against the ambitious Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership under negotiation among 16 countries in the region.
20-Oct-2016 El DiarioHoy es un día clave en la defensa de la democracia tal y como la hemos entendido hasta ahora.
20-Oct-2016 Bangkok PostAccess to affordable medicine and farmers’ control over seeds could be undermined by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership being negotiated between Asean member countries and six other trade partners, says FTA Watch in Thailand
20-Oct-2016 CEOA close look at the controversial EU-Canada trade deal shows that concerns blocking its ratification are well-founded.
19-Oct-2016 Telesur“We don’t want what happened to us to happen to the people in Dakota,” Piaguaje told teleSUR.
18-Oct-2016 Peoples WorldIn protests billed as “anti-colonial” demonstrations, Peruvians hit the streets on 12 October against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement
17-Oct-2016 No al TTIPEn el marco de una semana repleta de protestas para detener la aprobación del tratado de libre comercio entre la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos (TTIP) y la ratificación del CETA (el acuerdo de la Unión Europea con Canadá), la plataforma estatal ‘No al TTIP’ ha movilizado este sábado a miles de personas a lo largo de la geografía española y muy especialmente en la capital de España.
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