The two-year ban on sales of U.S. beef to Japan could be lifted very soon. Japan was the largest buyer of beef produced in this country, up until the discovery of one cow in Washington State with Mad Cow disease.
Ed Loyd is a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington. Loyd says today Japan’s Food Safety Commission has agreed that our beef is safe. He says federal officials are optimistic we’ll end the ban in the near future. Reopening the Japanese market to our beef has been the priority of former Nebraska governor and U-S-D-A Secretary Mike Johanns from his first day in office, Loyd says, it’s been a long and frustrating process but Loyd says the ag department administration’s “optimistic that we’re almost there.”
There’s been just one other case since then of the brain-wasting disease confirmed in a cow in this country. By July of this year Japan had confirmed Mad Cow in 20 animals from its own domestic herds.