For Immediate Release
December 19, 2011
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Communications Office:
(2020) 224-4515

Baucus Praises Japan’s Initial Steps to Lift Unscientific Restrictions and Increase Access for U.S. Beef

MEMORANDUM

To:        Reporters and Editors
From:    The Communications Office of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Re:        Baucus Praises Japan's Initial Steps to Lift Unscientific Restrictions and Increase Access for U.S Beef

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) praised news today that Japan has initiated steps to improve access for U.S. beef.  Baucus has led efforts urging Japan to lift its unscientific restrictions on U.S. beef.  Despite the World Organization for Animal Health’s declaration that U.S. beef from cattle of all ages is safe, Japan currently limits imports of U.S. beef to beef from cattle aged twenty months or younger.  From Chairman Baucus:

“There’s no doubt about it – American beef is 100 percent safe, top-quality and the best in the world.  We’ve been fighting long and hard to tear down Japan’s unfounded restrictions on beef because they hurt hardworking ranchers in Montana and across the U.S.  We are encouraged by Japan’s initial step to do so.  As Japan moves forward with its review process, we will be watching closely to ensure its beef policies are based on science and consistent with international standards, so U.S. ranchers can compete on a level playing field.”

The steps announced today are part of a review by Japan’s Food Safety Commission (FSC) to reassess Japan’s beef policies. Baucus has long fought for a robust trade agenda that opens new markets to American ranchers, farmers and small businesses and ensures U.S beef is not subjected to scientifically unfounded barriers in Japan or anywhere else in the world.  Baucus traveled to Japan in 2004 to press its leaders to remove Japan’s unscientific restrictions on U.S. beef.  And in 2005, he submitted arguments – in Japanese – to the FSC explaining why Japan’s ban on U.S. beef should be lifted.  Last year, Baucus wrote a letter to Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki urging the Japanese government to remove barriers to U.S. beef and provide access for beef of all ages.

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