Iowa Public Television


Where’s The Beef?

posted on September 1, 2006

Japan's restaurant chain Zenshoku plans to resume serving U.S. beef soon at dozens of its branches nationwide. It would be the first to do so since Tokyo eased an import ban over concerns about mad cow disease.

Zenshoku's president and officials visited two processing plants in California and Colorado earlier this month and confirmed they meet safety standards to export beef to Japan.

Meanwhile, a South Korean inspection team visited U.S. meat processing plants this week to determine if they meet specifications. This is believed to be the final step before South Korea lifts its ban on imports of U.S. beef.

The Ministry indicated that the government will make its decision in early October.

Switzerland, however, plans to block U.S. beef imports starting next year in an effort to cooperate more with the rest of Europe.

The reforms threaten over 300 tons of U.S. beef sold annually in Switzerland because of European Union restrictions on hormone-treated beef imports, the Zurich-based weekly SonntagsZeitung reported.<

Tags: agriculture animals beef diseases food safety Japan livestock Mad Cow meat news trade