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  • The Japan Times reports that the Japanese government is considering a partial lifting of the current ban on beef imports from the United States that followed the discovery of a cow with mad cow disease on US soil.

    If such a move were made, it would be because the Bush administration agreed that any beef exported to Japan would be certified safe by the US after being examined by a third-party inspection organization.

    The gap between the two countries' approaches to mad cow disease has been highlighted by the fact that Japan wants the US to inspect "virtually every cow," while US officials say such a move is "unscientific."


  • The Associated Press reports that US Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman says that while the government has pledged to speed development of an electronic tracking system that could locate any cow, pig or chicken in America within 48 hours, such a system is years away from reality.

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