News Update
April 5, 2006


Part of Japanese Food Safety Commission resigns

According to, half of the 12-member team assigned to evaluate the safety of U.S. beef has resigned. According to Kyodo News agency, the six who resigned from the Food Safety Commission are considered more cautious with regard to allowing resumption of U.S. beef imports into Japan.

However, Suguru Watanabe, a Food Safety Commission official, denied the reports of resignation and said the commission was recreated to include new insight and scientific background into the trade resumption discussions, reported.


Russia opens area to Brazil meat import

After limited incidences of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Rio Grand do Sul, Russia has removed Brazil’s southern state from its list of Brazilian states blocked from exporting beef and pork, reported. After being imposed in mid-December 2005, the ban remains effective in Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Sao Paulo and four other Brazilian states. Brazil sends 20% of its meat exports, worth about $1.6 billion each year, to Russia — its largest customer.

Despite shifting some beef production to unaffected states, FMD outbreaks have stalled Brazil’s export efforts, which were headed toward making the country the fastest-growing meat export economy in the world. After the discovery of the first U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in December 2003, Brazil surpassed the United States in meat exports.


CSU predicts active hurricane season

The Colorado State University (CSU) forecast team has maintained its earlier prediction for the 2006 hurricane season. The U.S. Atlantic basin will likely experience another very active season, but most likely with fewer landfalling intense hurricanes than in 2005 — the costliest, most destructive hurricane season ever recorded.

The team’s forecast for the 2006 hurricane season anticipates 17 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30, 2006. Nine of the 17 storms are predicted to become hurricanes, and of those nine, five are expected to develop into intense or major hurricanes.

CSU professor William Gray said it is statistically unlikely that the 2006-2007 hurricane seasons, or subsequent seasons, will have as many major hurricane U.S. landfall events as in 2004-2005.

— compiled by Brooke Byrd, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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