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US Moves to Reassure Japan on American Beef


The U.S. secretary of agriculture says he has taken immediate action to ensure that future beef exports meet Japanese requirements.

Japan reimposed a complete ban on beef from the United States, after finding material it believes could transmit mad cow disease in a shipment that arrived Friday. The country had resumed importing beef from the United States in December after months of negotiations.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says a team of inspectors will go to Japan to re-examine all beef from the U.S. Johanns says the plant that sent the shipment to Japan has been barred from future exporting, and that the inspector who passed the shipment will be disciplined.

A spokesman for the U.S. beef industry, J. Patrick Boyle, head of the American Meat Institute says the industry regrets the incident but continues to be confident in the safety of American beef.

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