U.S. meat packers repeatedly violate BSE regulations

6-11-06, 11:12 am

Twenty six out of the 37 U.S. meat packing facilities that have been given licenses to export to Japan repeatedly violated in 2004 and 2005 the U.S. BSE regulations such as the removal of risk material and determining the months-old age of cattle.

Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Kami Tomoko revealed this using the official records of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that she obtained during her study trip to the United States.

Those facilities that have been certified as exporters to Japan and found in violation by the USDA inspectors include Tyson Foods, Inc., Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. and, Swift & Company.

A Tyson Foods meat facility in Lexington, Nebraska, committed violations 13 times from February 2004 to January 2005. Tyson Foods, the USDA documents reported, committed violations 40 times at their nine facilities.

Those facilities violated regulations in such a manner that they did not follow guidelines program in removing risk material. The USDA also reported that preventive measures of these facilities were either ineffective or not implemented at all.

The fact that BSE regulations have been repeatedly violated at the facilities certified for domestic consumption clearly indicates the danger that such violations will be committed by the same facilities exporting meat to Japan.

In view of Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro's meeting with U.S. President George Bush planned for late in June, the Koizumi government is accelerating its move to resume the import of U.S. beef. The newly revealed record of violations increases the anxiety of Japanese consumers.

From Akahata