Iowa Public Television


U.S. Beef Enters Japan for First Time Since Ban Lifted

posted on August 11, 2006

By mid-week, the first sales of U.S. beef to Japan since the Asian country ended the ban imposed in January were in the marketplace.

Inspectors on Tuesday opened the way for a 5.1 ton shipment of beef for Costco Wholesale Japan. The chain store, the Japanese unit of the American retailer, will begin selling at three of its Tokyo stores. The start of sales at the company's two other stores have been delayed until after August 10 due to transportation difficulties caused by an approaching typhoon.

Japan banned American beef in January after spinal cord, a substance the country considers a cause of mad cow disease, was discovered in a shipment of beef. In July, Japan lifted its ban.

At one time, Japan was the largest purchaser of U.S. beef, importing $1.4 billion worth of products.

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