"U.S. trade officials believe Washington has a narrow window of opportunity this year to negotiate additional beef market openings in key Asian countries this year worth approximately $3 billion annually to American producers," the Washington newsletter reports. Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Darci Vetter said expansion could happen in Japan, China and South Korea. The Koreans expressed the most wariness about the mad-cow discovery, details of which are here.
It was the first U.S. case of mad-cow disease since 2006, and the fourth ever in the country. The cow died at a dairy farm and was sent to a pet-food plant, where it was tested based on USDA guidelines: older than 30 months and a fresh corpse. A plant official said the cow showed no outward signs of the disease and testing was a random sample. Test results revealed the cow had atypical BSE, which means it was spontaneous and likely a genetic mutation, not an infection. Dead cows are never slaughtered for human consumption.
Agri-Pulse reports the finding "will not have any impact on the United States 'controlled risk' BSE classification through the World Organization for Animal Health and should not affect access for U.S. beef products in international markets, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation." USMEF President Philip Seng said the organization is reaching out to global trade contacts to assure them "the most important message is that U.S. beef is safe."
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