The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that beginning Feb. 1, 2013, Japan will ease restrictions on imports of U.S. beef and begin accepting U.S. beef and beef products from cattle under 30 months of age. USDA estimates the change in terms and conditions with Japan, which are closely aligned with international standards established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), will result in hundreds of millions of dollars of increased U.S. beef and beef product exports to Japan.
“This announcement is great news for Kansas beef farmers and ranchers and for the Kansas economy,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman. “In 2012, Kansas exported more than $314 million of beef and beef products to Japan. This announcement will allow more Japanese consumers more access to safe, wholesome and nutritious U.S. beef.
“With more than 99 percent of the world’s population living outside our state’s borders and with the population expected to reach 9 billion in less than 40 years, Kansas farmers and ranchers will play an increasingly important role in feeding the world’s population. As demand for high-quality protein continues increasing, this announcement will result in more beef and beef products from Kansas and across the United States reaching our customers in the largest market for beef in Asia.”