By the time you read this, it's possible that USDA will have announced limited resumption of beef trade with Japan. At least that was the media speculation over the past weekend. Meanwhile, BSE continues to drive and cast doubt over a variety of policy decisions. Consider the past two weeks alone:
- Canada discovered its sixth and seventh cases of BSE; the latter a 50-month old female born after the feeding ban went into place. Just as USDA was finalizing the paperwork to resume allowing imports of Canadian cattle over 30 months of age.
- A beef roast reportedly found its way into an order of turkey and pork that was shipped to Japan.
- Creekstone Farms has asked for a summary judgment in its suit against USDA. As you'll recall, Creekstone wants to test its beef for BSE; USDA has refused.
- Talks with South Korea remain in a stalemate.
- Now Russia is demanding to audit U.S. pork and beef freezing practices.