• Akashi, Hyogo

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It’s time Japan open its market to more U.S. beef. Before I moved back to Japan in December, I was a beef producer in the state of Iowa. I have nine years’ experience living in Japan, so I am not unaware of how Japanese think with regard to food safety, etc. I had several guests from Japan in recent years visit us in Iowa, and we let them eat some of our beef. They were impressed and wanted more.

Now that I live in Japan again, I am surprised how hard it is to find U.S. beef, and what I do find is extremely expensive. U.S. beef is safe! I know not every animal is tested for mad cow disease (BSE), but the number of cases has been so extremely rare that (the health risk to consumers) is as close to zero as you can get.

Every year almost 30 million head of cattle are raised in the United States, and only three or four cases of BSE have been found in the past several years. It’s time to open the market in Japan to meat from cattle up to 30 months of age. The people of Japan deserve to eat delicious, safe, affordable U.S. beef. Come on, politicians!

gary bennett

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