Japan blocks mad cow report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mad cow disease, European union, Japan

The Japanese government has blocked the publication of a European
Commission report that says mad cow disease, or BSE, could
theoretically break out...

The Japanese government has blocked the publication of a European Commission report that says mad cow disease, or BSE, could theoretically break out in Japan, a spokesman for the Commission's Tokyo office said on Monday, Reuters reports. Veterinary experts from the European Union have been working to assess the degree of risk of BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, in non-member countries to ensure contaminated meat is not reimported into the 15-nation bloc. "In the case of Japan, the report is ready but Japan has now withdrawn its request to have this report adopted and doesn't want it to be published,"​ said the spokesman for the commission, the executive arm of the EU. Japanese officials had no substantive comment to make, saying they were checking the issue. Japan has never recorded a case of BSE. Using data supplied by the Japanese government, the EU scientists gave Japan a risk-rating of three on a rising scale of one to four. They have judged Australia and the United States, by contrast, to be free of any risk of BSE."The report would have said that, objectively, there is a risk of BSE in Japan - although that doesn't mean that BSE exists,"​ the spokesman said. He said Japan was assessed as a potential breeding ground for BSE because in the past it has imported live cattle as well as suspicious bonemeal, including from Britain, where the disease was first identified. "This can all be traced more or less. That means objectively you could have BSE, but of course Japan doesn't want to create a panic situation,"​ the Commission spokesman said. "It's quite clear we can't blame them if they get BSE through bonemeal that was imported so many years ago. But as there is objectively a risk, one would expect their authorities to not close their eyes and to deal with it,"​ the Commission spokesman continued. Source: Reuters

Related topics: Policy

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