Japan to incinerate stored beef to allay fears

December 14, 2001 Channel NewsAsia
The Japanese government said it would incinerate all the beef that has been withdrawn from the domestic market.

The 12,626 tonnes of meat had been produced before a nationwide screening for mad cow disease. Japan confirmed in September its first case of the brain-wasting disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Since then, two other dairy cows have tested positive.

The Health Ministry was conducting second tests on a 40-month-old dairy cow from Okayama, western Japan, to see if it would be the nation's fourth confirmed case after initial screening tested positive on Tuesday.

Despite government tests for BSE on all cattle slaughtered for meat consumption in Japan since October 18, beef sales have fallen by about 50 percent since the first case of mad cow came to light.

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