With mad cow disease no longer a concern, Japan eases ban on U.S. beef

Japan opened its consumer market to all U.S. beef products, according to the Department of Agriculture. (MGN / USDA image)

WASHINGTON (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Cattle ranchers now have total access to the United States’ top global beef market, according to U.S. Secretary of State Sonny Perdue.

The U.S. and Japan agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports. Now, all U.S. products from cattle, regardless of age, will be allowed in Japan. This is reportedly the first time the rules have been eased since 2003.

The Department of Agriculture estimates that the change is worth up to $200 million every year.

Japan instituted a U.S. beef ban in 2003 when a cow was found to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly called mad cow disease.