USDA/Japan Technical BSE Working Group concludes meeting

by 5m Editor
2 July 2004, at 12:00am

WASHINGTON - The U.S./Japan Technical BSE Working Group today concluded its second of three meetings with the objective of establishing a thorough review of the available information on BSE.

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“The three days of discussions and tours, held in Fort Collins, Colo., provided the team members with the opportunity to have an in-depth dialogue on several key issues, including:

  • The definition of BSE and methods of testing;
  • The definition of Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) and methods for removal;
  • The appropriate level and focus of surveillance;
  • Risk assessment; and
  • Feed ban implementation, among others.

“Our tours of a slaughter facility, feed lot and feed mill were important opportunities for the Japanese members of the working group to witness the implementation of U.S. BSE safeguards, our rigorous enforcement of these safeguards and the compliance by industry.

“We also informed the Japanese of the status of the two inconclusive BSE test results we have received as part of our enhanced BSE surveillance program. We shared with them the USDA statement announcing that the inconclusive screening test sample reported on June 25 tested negative for BSE at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa upon confirmatory testing. Neither of these animals entered the human food chain, nor animal feed chain and we have assured the Japanese that we will keep them fully informed of any further developments of our ongoing investigation of the second inconclusive test.

“The meetings were successful in advancing our mutual understanding of each countries’ measures, their purpose and effectiveness. We look forward to our meeting in Japan next month where we will finalize our technical report that will serve as the basis for the discussions between our governments to establish the terms by which beef trade will resume.“

USDA - 2nd July 2004

5m Editor