TOKYO – The Japanese government said Wednesday that it suspended beef imports from a Swift and Co. plant in Nebraska for not being in line with a Japan-U.S. beef trade accord.

The government said that an inspection at the port of Osaka on Monday night revealed nine boxes shipped from the plant contained bovine thymus glands lacking U.S. government certification, which is required for U.S. beef shipments to Japan.

Bovine thymus glands can be exported to Japan as they are not listed among "specified risk materials" deemed closely linked to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.

In the absence of U.S. government certification, it is not known if the thymus glands originated from cattle 20 months old or younger, as required by Japan for U.S. beef imports, the government said.

The government reportedly said it has halted import procedures for meat shipped from the Swift plant and has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to submit a report after conducting an investigation.


Source: Japan Economic Newswire