BSE Working Group Concludes Report

Dr. Peter Fernandez
Chairman, US BSE Technical Working Group
Associate Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA
Tokyo, Japan
July 22, 2004

The U.S./Japan Technical BSE Working Group today concluded in Tokyo the last of its three meetings aimed at achieving a better mutual understanding of the technical issues surrounding BSE. This final meeting provided a constructive framework for both sides to meet the shared commitment of utilizing the best science available internationally when addressing BSE issues to protect public and animal health while minimizing trade disruptions in beef and other ruminant products.

The two days of discussions provided team members with the opportunity to elaborate points of technical agreement and to develop technical options available to encourage the resumption of beef trade.

Both sides reaffirmed their support for additional international research on the science of BSE and the further development of internationally-shared standards through such organizations as the OIE.

The two sides also concluded a report that includes descriptive analyses of the situations in Japan and the United States, and summarizes the deliberations of the BSE Technical Working Group. This report will serve as the basis for the discussions between the two governments to establish the terms by which beef trade will resume.