News Update
Feb. 14, 2006


U.S. Beef Returns to Taiwan

U.S. beef arrived in Taiwan stores yesterday for the first time since June, Taiwan News reports.

According to the news organization, U.S. beef prices were expected to be higher due to strong consumer demand and increased transportation costs.

The beef shipment comes just three weeks after Ag Secretary Mike Johanns’ announcement Jan. 25 that Taiwan would resume trade of U.S. boneless beef from animals less than 30 months of age.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States exported more than $76 million worth of beef to Taiwan in 2003, with boneless beef products accounting for $56 million.

Taiwan reopened its market to U.S. beef in April 2005, but closed it again in June 2005 following the confirmation of a second U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).


Japan Sending Inspection Team to U.S. Facilities

Japan will soon be sending inspectors to U.S. beef facilities, reported.

The delegation is making the trip in response to concerns regarding a Feb. 2 report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) showing several weaknesses in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) BSE surveillance program. 

According to OIG findings, FSIS issued a policy allowing cattle that become nonambulatory due to an acute injury to proceed to harvest. “This policy is inconsistent with both published regulations and public policy announcements, and is not consistently interpreted and applied by FSIS inspectors,” the report stated.

During an inspection of 12 harvesting facilities, OIG found that, from June 17, 2004, to April 12, 2005, two establishments harvested 29 nonambulatory animals, 20 of which were identified as downers with no documentation of an acute injury.

FSIS’ Barbara Masters released a statement Feb. 2 in response to OIG findings, saying, “FSIS is confident it is successfully carrying out its mission to protect public health by strictly enforcing safeguards designed to prevent all tissues that science tells us could be infective in a cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy from entering the food supply.”

Masters reported that FSIS has initiated action to strengthen its systems for removal, segregation and disposition of specified risk materials (SRMs); however, Japanese officials are expected to ask questions regarding report findings.


Farmer Incomes to Drop in 2006

Farmers incomes are expected to drop dramatically in 2006 due to rising energy costs and interest rates, according to The Associated Press.

According to the AP article, average net income for a farmer should be $48,600 this year, compared to $68,300 last year.

After this year’s drop in income, farm income should remain steady, with net income averaging $54 billion per year during the next decade.


Cattle Industry Conference Site Updated

Angus Productions Inc. (API) has posted additional summaries at, a Web site hosting in-depth coverage of this month’s 2006 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show.

The site features synopses of the popular Cattlemen’s College®, sponsored by Pfizer; summaries of committee and subcommittee meetings; and coverage of award winners and trade show highlights.

Go to for more.


— by Crystal Albers, Angus Productions Inc.

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