Japanese minister sued over BSE

October 2, 2002 Financial Times (London) by Nobuko Juji and Bayan Rahman
Japanese cattle farmers yesterday filed two lawsuits over mad cow disease to the new agriculture minister. About 95 farmers in Miyagi prefecture and Hokkaido, the northern island where Asia's first case of mad cow disease was discovered last year, will begin legal action next month.

The farmers, who will seek compensation of about Y400m (Euros 3.3m), accuse the government of negligence, claiming that it had enough information from Europe's experience of the disease - bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) - to prevent it from developing in Japan. Their decision came one day after Tadamori Oshima was appointed agriculture minister in a cabinet reshuffle.

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