• Kyodo

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The United States dispatched a team of experts to Japan on Monday to discuss the planned easing of its ban on Canadian beef, U.S. officials said.

Washington may relax the ban, which was imposed on Canadian beef after it was learned May 20 that a cow in Alberta tested positive for mad cow disease.

But Tokyo is concerned that the move may allow Canadian beef to be exported to Japan via the U.S.

The U.S. team consists of experts from the Agriculture Department, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Food and Drug Administration.

They are expected to discuss with Japanese officials the U.S. inspection system for beef exports to Japan, along with the measures Canada has taken to ensure the safety of its beef.

When he visited Washington earlier this month, farm minister Yoshiyuki Kamei voiced concern over the planned easing of the U.S. import ban on Canadian beef to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.