Beef imports: Ban from US and Japan to end

FRESH and frozen beef from the US and Japan could appear back on Australian supermarket shelves more than 13 years after trade was suspended due to concerns over mad cow disease.
However, industry sources are reluctant to speculate on what kind of product and how much would be imported if the market was to open.
A draft report has been released by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources reviewing import requirements for fresh — chilled or frozen — beef and beef products for human consumption from the US, Japan and the Netherlands. New Zealand and Vanuatu, which already have access, were also included in the review.
Several of Australia’s trading partners have formally approached the Australian Government for market access, sparking the review.
The review identified and categorised hazards of biosecurity concern associated with the importation of fresh beef and beef products.
Covering 10 animal diseases such as anthrax and bovine brucellosis, the report found the biosecurity risk was “considered negligible”.
The BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) food safety risk was assessed by FSANZ, with all five countries listed as category one status, allowing them to export heat-treated, shelf-stable beef and beef products to Australia.
Australia has not accepted fresh meat from Japan since 2001 or the US since 2003 because of BSE outbreaks.

A Department of Agriculture spokesman said as a World Trade Organisation member, Australia has to allow trade where it was safe to do so.
A Cattle Council of Australia spokesman said it expected the Government to assess the biosecurity risk of each country wishing to import beef, using a science-based approach.
Stakeholders can comment on the review, with submissions due by February 13.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Merinda Sharp says:

    Why do we need meat from USA and Japan – we’ve moved along quite happily, so lets keep it that way!


  2. It is dangerous for human and animal health to import
    foreign animal material into Australia, we are now seeing the disaster with the prawn industry with white spot.
    STOP the importations now.

    This subject of infectious prions is very relevant for medicine and surgery plus for everyday life. All human tissue should be regarded as infectious for dementing diseases, infectious amyloidopathies, or protein misfolding diseases.

    I did very extensive research on the subject of infectious protein diseases which are call prion (pronounced pree-on) diseases after my aunt developed a very strange and terrible disease and then died in 2000 with probable variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (pronounced Croitz-felt Yar-cob disease). This is the human form of the disease call Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) which is commonly known as Mad Cow Disease. I completed a master’s thesis on the subject of CJD and presented to the Australian Federal Parliament’s Senate committee on the subject of the importation of foreign beef into Australia at Parliament House at Canberra in May 2010.

    Prions are very minute proteins (the building blocks of the cells within the body) which are much smaller than viruses and which can be caught from cattle with BSE when they are killed, butchered and eaten as meat. Prions are not killed by cooking or even by the sterilizers used in Australian hospitals. The safest thing to do is to not eat them in first place as there is no cure. The disease takes 5 to 40 years to develop in humans once a person becomes infected but the person does not become sick until the final stages of the disease.That is a very long incubation period. If people have eaten foreign animal material in the past then that is past history but I recommend minimising any future ingestion of it.
    BSE is not a single prion but a family of prion subtypes and they have been spead and can further spread into other species such as pigs, sheep and fish.

    Most countries on earth are infected with BSE and many other prion diseases. There are more than 20 different animals which are infected with prion diseases including cattle with BSE. The diseases are known as infectious amyloidopathies as they produce clumps of amyloid proteins in the brain and in other body organs. Sheep flocks overseas are often infected as well.

    Australia and New Zealand are 2 of the only countries on earth that are officially free from BSE but Australia had a case of Mad Sheep Disease called Ovine Spongiform Encphalopathy or Scrapie in Western Australia in recent years. One infected animal can infect hundred of thousands of individual people. There has been at least one case of varient CJD diagnosed in a person in Australia in recent years.

    Unfortunately the Australian government decided to allow the importation of semen and embryos from overseas countries in 2002 for multiple species including sheep and cattle and the embryos and semen are placed into Australian flocks and herds by farmers in good faith and then when the animals are born they are said to be product of Australia.
    This is a very complex area as it is often thus difficult to know even in Australia exactly where food is really from.

    Research where your food comes from. Read the labels on all food.
    Avoid gelatine which is made from the skin, feet and bones of animals, ie hooves, hides and bones. Avoid gelatine capsules of any description including for medications such as antibiotics and only have vegetable capsules or ask for tablets or powders if medication is required.

    Only eat wild ocean fish and not farmed fish, especially if you are travelling overseas. Do not eat farmed fish in Australia. The 4 Corners programme shown in early November 2016 on ABC television revealed that the food given to salmon being bred and developed at the 3 large salmon farms off the coast of Tasmania contains ruminant material, ie sheep and beef or cow materials!

    Whilst overseas DO NOT EAT any animal products including food made from cattle, sheep, pork, poultry or poultry products including eggs, or farmed fish. be a Vegan whilst overseas. Dairy products are included in the foods to be avoided overseas list, even avoid milk based alcoholic drinks and chocolates. It requires considerable awareness and thought and vigilance for a person to travels outside of Australia ‘overseas’ for more then a few weeks in order to maintain nutritional balance.

    In Australia, purchase ‘Product of Australia’ rather then ‘Made in Australia’ as Made in Australia includes products which can be from overseas which have had some value adding process such as the packaging performed in Australia.

    Once you are aware of the risks you can make wise choices in order to stay healthy!
    Thank you to the author who is an Australian medical specialist who did extensive research in CJV..


  3. this article is from Dr Alan Fahey
    MB,BS MPsychMed MPsychiatry FASPsychMed


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