Hopes for a speedy resolution to the ongoing tug-of-war to reopen Japanese and South Korean markets to U.S. beef seem to be fading.
In mid-April, South Korea said its market would remain closed to U.S. beef until Washington provides substantial proof of the exact age of the Alabama cow found infected in mid-March with BSE, the Korea Herald reports. USDA has tracked the cow to 13 premises and 32 movements in her lifetime, but has yet to confirm her exact age.
Meanwhile, Japan restructured its Food Safety Commission, an independent government body charged with conducting scientific risk assessments in an objective and impartial manner. The government claims the reshuffling was intentional, but others say resignations by members favoring a more cautious approach to restarting beef trade forced the move. Nonetheless, starting over from scratch will likely delay a resolution.