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USDA To Dispatch Technical Team To Japan


WASHINGTON, March 22, 2006--Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced a USDA technical team will meet with Japanese government officials on Monday, March 27th, to answer questions and press for the reopening of the Japanese market to U.S. beef.

“The United States is eager to provide any additional clarification Japan may request so we can resume beef exports to Japan as quickly as possible,” Johanns said. “I believe our report is thorough and actions address the unique circumstances surrounding this ineligible shipment. Now my hope is that we can take the next steps toward resumption of normal trade.”

Johanns directed that a USDA technical team go to Japan after the Japanese government signaled a willingness to receive USDA experts.

The team will be led by Marketing and Regulatory Programs Acting Under Secretary, Chuck Lambert. Also on the team will be representatives from USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service, Agriculture Marketing Service, Foreign Agricultural Service and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service.

Japan reopened its market to U.S. beef on December 11, 2005 but halted U.S. beef imports on January 20, 2006 after receiving a shipment of U.S. beef that posed no food safety risk but did not meet the specifications of the U.S. export agreement with Japan.


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