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Possible mad cow case won't harm Japan talks - USDA

by 5m Editor
18 November 2004, at 12:00am

WASHINGTON, DC - Ongoing negotiations with Japan to reopen its market to American beef should not suffer a setback now that the United States has a new suspected case of mad cow disease, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said on Thursday.

USDA said that two preliminary tests have turned up positive for mad cow disease on one animal. Further details on the animal were not released by USDA, pending final test results that are expected in four to seven days.

Asked about the impact of the test result on talks with Japan, which has barred U.S. beef since last December, USDA Associate Deputy Administrator Andrea Morgan said, "I would not expect that that would affect them" because of the steps already taken by the agency to prevent the spread of the disease.

However, Morgan, who works for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said she was not involved in the U.S. negotiations with Japan on reopening its market.

Source: Reuters - 18th November 2004

5m Editor