Japan relaxes beef import rules
The Japanese health ministry is relaxing restrictions on imports of beef from the USA and Canada. From next year, it will allow meat from cattle under 31 months of age to be imported after the removal of specified risk material, raising the maximum age limit from the current 21 months. The ministry has also proposed raising the age at which domestically produced cattle must be inspected for BSE after slaughter from 21 to 31 months. The proposal is subject to approval by the Food Safety Commission.