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Japan Officials Resign Over 'Mad Cow'

December 26, 2001 Los Angeles Times
Two top farm officials who guided Japan's highly criticized response to an outbreak of "mad-cow" disease are stepping down, Agriculture Minister Tsutomu Takebe said. Hideaki Kumazawa, vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and Takemi Nagamura, head of the ministry's Livestock Industry Department, will resign in early January.

The fatal brain-wasting disease was first discovered in Japan in September. Two more cases have since been confirmed.

Officials had been cri7ticized for not taking preventive measures earlier when Europe encountered a similar outbreak. Nagamura's department was criticized for failing to destroy a sick cow that was later processed into animal feed.


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